Just a year ago, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dennis Schroder, and Alex Caruso were all Lakers, and there was plenty of excitement about their ceiling as a team.
Of course, the early optimism did not match the outcome, and by the time the 2021free agency started, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office knew they had to make changes.
Almost immediately, the Lakers got busy wheeling and dealing, bringing in guys like Russell Westbrook and Kent Bazemore as they welcomed back Dwight Howard and Wayne Ellington.
In the process, the Purple and Gold lost some pretty notable contributors, including Andre Drummond, Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, and Dennis Schroder.
On Instagram, the Lakers organization bid them all farewell in a short tribute.
Player movement is just a part of the whole process, but it isn't always easy for a player to say goodbye to their teammate, and that includes LeBron James.
In response to his team's goodbye tribute, King James delivered his own response of appreciation and respect.
Heading into year 19, LeBron is going to be facing a ton of new and difficult challenges. Of course, he seems as ready as ever to face them with his new-look squad.
"Year 19 right around the corner," James posted on IG. "And I’m excited like it’s year 1! CAN NOT WAIT to get going! Oh LeBron 19s are ready for lift off too by the way! Lol. 🚀. #ThekidfromAkron🤴🏾 #Washed👑 📸 by @graydientvisuals 🙏🏾🔥🔥🔥"
On paper, the Lakers definitely have a shot to capture their 18th Championship. FUll of veterans, proven scorers, and hustlers, they'll be a team to fear in the West.
Unfortunately, though, they'll still have to get through Brooklyn if they want to mark their place in league history.
As, arguably, the greatest trio ever assembled, the Durant, Harden, and Kyrie partnership will not be an easy one to defeat -- but, if anyone can do it, it has got to be James and the Lakers.
Either way, we'll find out how it all ends before too long. If it goes bad, the Purple and Gold might end up seriously missing some of their ex-players.