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Adrian Wojnarowski Says The Lakers Accept It Will Be Difficult To Contend For An NBA Championship In 2023: "They All Know This Year Is Difficult"

Adrian Wojnarowski Says The Lakers Accept It Will Be Difficult To Contend For An NBA Championship In 2023: "They All Know This Year Is Difficult"

The Los Angeles Lakers have fallen on hard times just a few seasons after they built an absolute beast of a team and took it to the 2020 championship. In 2021, an injury-riddled season saw the Lakers barely make it into the playoffs and then be eliminated in the first round against the Phoenix Suns. They followed this up with an 11th-place finish in the West last season.

The key issue for LA has been roster construction, as they dismantled their 2020 title-winning squad for younger players in Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrel. Both players left the team after 1 season as the Lakers put their remaining assets together in a trade for Russell Westbrook, sending perimeter players like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope along with Kyle Kuzma and Harrel to the Washington Wizards.

After Westbrook's disastrous debut season in LA, the team is completely depleted of assets outside 2 first-round picks in 2027 and 2029. While those picks are up for grabs when it comes to trading for Kyrie Irving, they are off the table otherwise.

Adrian Wojnarowski has revealed that the Lakers are aware of the tough roster situation they are in and don't expect to contend for a title in 2022-23.   

"It begins with health with Anthony Davis and LeBron James being on the court. But listen, it's going to be difficult this season, they all accept it. There is probably not a move out there that makes them a championship team. But they do have the cap flexibility and assets to get back into that conversation in a couple of years." 

With Woj saying the Lakers need a couple of years to replenish their asset pool, it is a worrying sign for LeBron James. However, his contract extension means he is aware of the sacrifice they have to make in the short-term to be in a better contending position long-term.

The Lakers will actively look to move Russell Westbrook for either Kyrie Irving or Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. This will help them look more formidable as a playoff team, but a championship may not be within grasp even after those moves.