The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t really done much right over the past yr.
A sequence of terrible moves within the 2021 offseason were initiated by what is certain to be remembered as certainly one of the worst trades within the league’s history: the deal that sent Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards to Los Angeles. After that, the 2021-22 season went as poorly because it ever could have gone with the team missing the playoffs and play-in tournament entirely.
This 2022 offseason for the Lakers has also centered around Westbrook, because the team had a number of the quickest buyer’s remorse you may have with such a serious deal, evidenced by the countless rumors and reports concerning the team attempting to dump him another person.
After Donovan Mitchell was dealt from the Jazz (a team that reportedly may very well be a Lakers’ trade partner for Westbrook) to the Cavaliers, Westbrook’s team for the 2022-23 season is now the league’s biggest query mark. Mainly every other team within the league has their rosters discovered for the season, which implies everyone seems to be now analyzing how the offseason has ended for every franchise. Who improved? Who became worse? Who’s tanking? Well, besides the Jazz, obviously.
One of the popular types of this kind of evaluation comes annually from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, when he polls anonymous coaches, scouts, and executives on different questions surrounding the moves made within the offseason. Naturally, as they’re a lightning rod for conversation, the Lakers all the time come up in some style of way. But this offseason, there wasn’t much mention of them except when it got here to 2 questions.
The primary and most notable was “Which team had the worst offseason?” The Lakers received certainly one of the 15 votes solid for this query, with three teams — the Mavericks, Hornets, and Nets — at the least receiving more votes than them.
The second query with a Lakers answer was “What was essentially the most surprising move of the offseason?” Again, one vote called out the Lakers, this time for Russ remaining on the team. Here’s what “the scout” said to Bontemps about what was assumedly their vote.
“I feel [the Lakers are] attempting to prove to themselves and other teams that they don’t must do something,” the scout said. “I feel Westbrook is just not quite as broken as everyone sees.
“If he gets placed on a foul team, he’ll make a foul team decent. You place him on Indiana? He’d affect winning.”
Who knows if this “scout” was the identical one who voted the Lakers as having the worst offseason, but I’m sure if the Lakers’ executives saw this they’d say something along the lines of, “We’re working on it!”
Although training camp will begin in lower than a month, this “worst offseason” within the league isn’t over yet. You might have to assume that if Westbrook gets traded with this poll retroactively being performed after said trade, the Lakers and Westbrook probably wouldn’t have been mentioned in any respect (unless Rob Pelinka was polled, and was able to provide the Lakers a “best offseason” vote).
Either way, it must be noted that 15 coaches, scouts, and executives — although they’re a number of the smartest people on this planet on the subject of NBA decision-making — don’t all the time have essentially the most trustworthy opinions concerning the offseason.
Within the 2021 version of this poll, the Russ trade for the Lakers was voted by two individuals because the worst move of the offseason, nonetheless, the Lakers also received five of 10 votes to win the Western Conference Finals and two of 10 votes to win the NBA Finals. Useless to say, those latter voters were way off.
Whether it’s because Russ is traded or if Russ, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis can discover a technique to stay healthy and thrive under recent head coach Darvin Ham, let’s hope that one one who voted for them for having the worst offseason is incorrect.
Otherwise, the doom and gloom from this past yr will proceed.