Here’s something that doesn’t come as a surprise given that the Lakers finished 33-49 last season and couldn’t even make the play-in tournament:
LeBron James wants them to improve the roster.
Or as Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported, sources say that James is “privately adamant” that the Lakers bring in reinforcements.
The Lakers will indeed be younger this season — after signing free agents such as Lonnie Walker, Damian Jones, Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson. All are nice, young players, but they are also role players.
So the Lakers are still on the lookout for outside shooting and perhaps some size, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Westbrook and some first-round picks are considered their bargaining chips, though they will likely have to surrender a little more tro get a player of consequence.
“The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving,” Buhan wrote.
Along with Irving and the Nets, the Lakers have been linked to Buddy Hield, Myles Turner and the Pacers. Those around the NBA view that as a more likely scenario of LA than Irving, though the Lakers would have to part with their 2027 and ’29 first-round picks. So far, they are not willing to do that in a deal with Indiana or other clubs.
James, 37, agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Lakers on Wednesday. He is coming off another outstanding season individually, averaging 30.1 points and passing Karl Malone for second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. But the thinking around the NBA is he is no longer capable of carrying a team, and he will need more than just an injury-prone Davis to lift the Lakers back to great things.