The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been able to find their groove for a number of seasons, as they’ve missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. Los Angeles last made the playoffs in the 2012-2013 season, where they were swept in the first-round by the San Antonio Spurs. They also aren’t looking to make the playoffs this season with a record of 17-35, just 0.5 games away from the worst seed in the Western Conference that the Phoenix Suns currently hold.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 2, 2017
Magic Johnson’s recent comments on this Lakers team can be taken in many different ways. They could mean the team is rising and just needs a superstar to get them over the hump, or it could mean they are nowhere near ready and need a superstar player who can carry them to the playoffs once again just like Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant did.
The following is from Bleacher Report.
“Were [Lakers] a superstar away from competing against the Warriors or Spurs.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 3, 2017
The Lakers really need interior defensive help as they only get 3.8 blocks per game, which is tied for 28th in the NBA this season. They also need a scorer as they are tied for 18th in points per game with 104. Players who could fit this mold for the Lakers are Kings’ Demarcus Cousins and Pelicans’ Anthony Davis.
Both are superstars for their respectively teams, but both are in 2 very different situations. Cousins has always had bad temper and led the NBA in technical fouls last season with 17. He has been very frustrated by the team’s lack of success throughout his career and isn’t expected to resign with the team once his current contract is up.
Davis has been injury prone throughout his career. He has only played a maximum number of 68 games throughout a season in only his 5 years in the league. He was an MVP candidate in the early stages of the season, but as of recent, he has fallen off.
Since the Lakers do not have their 2017 1st round pick as the Philadelphia 76ers have it top-3 protected, the Lakers would probably have to throw in young stars like Jordan Clarkson and/or Julius Randle. They could also throw in Timofey Mozgov to try and help contract match, as he has a large contract. D’Angelo Russell will not be available in trade talks as them team sees him as a franchise player.
Magic Johnson is now working with the Lakers and has stated in the past that he will be a mentor to D’Angelo Russell 👀pic.twitter.com/DvjQx03SYs
— ㅤㅤ (@ShowtimeEra) February 2, 2017
The Lakers are not a superstar away from contending with the top teams, but they could be a superstar away from being a playoff team once again depending on the type of player that they acquire.