Last season, even with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the worst teams in the West. Amid a season defined by chaos and dysfunction, the team just couldn't find ways to fit together, not on the court or off of it.
And now, with the team struggling to find quality trades, there is a real sense that the Lakeshow might still have the 'big three' on the roster after the new season begins.
If that's the case, one league insider says he won't be expecting much from the team in terms of winning and competing at an elite level.
Going into the 2022-2023 season, however, the bar for the Lakers isn’t set that high. In fact, many basketball pundits don’t have the Lakers making it too far into the postseason. One LA Insider is not expecting the Lakers to win a title this upcoming season.
No, I don’t believe the Lakers, as currently constructed, can win a championship. I think they can certainly make the playoffs, but I expect them to be a bottom-tier playoff team if Westbrook is on the roster and playing (somewhere in the No. 6 to No. 9-seed range). If we compare their supporting cast to other top West teams, they fall significantly short.
With LeBron James healthy and ready to play, it's impossible to count the Lakers out completely. If we've seen anything, it's that James is really good at finding ways to win and maximizing the talents of those around him.
Still, we've seen how this Bron/AD/Russ thing works already. None of those guys are willing to make the necessary adjustments, and it has put the team in a massive hole.
Unless they find a way to trade Westbrook or convince him to completely change his game, it's unlikely next season will turn out much different from the previous one for the Purple and Gold.