After an entertaining 2021 NBA offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers looked like clear favorites to win it all this season. However, things didn't work in their favor, and poor chemistry, injuries, and more issues made them miss the 2022 playoffs despite having a Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
They didn't mesh well and all season long struggled to get things going. In the end, the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs left them out of play-in contention, ending one of the most disappointing seasons in Lakers' history.
Many people believe this offseason will put the Lakers back on the map, but nobody is buying that. Former player-turned-analyst JJ Redick recently made a case against the Lakers being contenders, given their current status, their current players, and the options the team has to make some changes.
During a recent edition of ESPN's First Take, the retired sharpshooter said (via Clutch Points):
“The Lakers are not contending next season, that’s not gonna happen. And we broke down all the different trade scenarios last week. They’re not gonna be a contender. They’re pretty much stuck next year… There’s no way this core group, those three guys, with their lack of draft picks, with no real money in free agency. They’re not in contention next year. Doesn’t matter who the coach is.”
This is not good news for Lakers Nation. They still believe that by moving the right pieces around, they can create a competitive team. Well, that's not common around the league. Not many people are convinced the front office can turn things around and make LeBron James and Anthony Davis as favorites as they were in 2020.
Some reports suggest they are still looking for options to deal Russell Westbrook, but it remains to be seen if Brodie, AD, or even LeBron, survive this offseason. They're still looking for a new head coach, but that only won't solve all their issues.