Shaquille O’Neal: Lakers Need To Gut Roster

Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal said the Lakers need to keep LeBron James and Anthony Davis for next season — and that’s it.Shaquille O'Neal

In Shaq’s opinion, that means somehow trading Russell Westbrook. And Carmelo Anthony and others with expiring deals should not be re-signed.

“Gotta get rid of expiring contract, gotta get rid of the projects that didn’t work and we gotta try to get younger and more athletic around LeBron,” O’Neal said on CBS Sports HQ. “Because paper-wise, when everybody did the deals it was like, ooh Westbrook, ooh this and that.’ But age is a factor. AD was hurt all year. I think he played last year but gotta keep him health. Still keep LeBron and AD, and prolly gotta make moves for everybody else.”

The Lakers were far and away the biggest bust of the NBA season after trading for Westbrook. Not all of that was Westbrook’s fault, far from it. But there is no doubt he just wasn’t a fit. In fact, you could make the case that hardly anyone fit this season.

On top of that, the Lakers were injury-prone and lacked depth. Because of the roster’s advanced age, they really struggled to defend.

Shaq could get his wish, though. While the Lakers are likely to hang on to James and Davis, and are unlikely to be able to trade Westbrook, they could potentially at least bring in some new faces. Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker and a few others are tradeable pieces. They may not bring back much, but at least they would bring back new faces.

The Lakers could indeed make changes for the sake of it. Anything is better than what they tried this season.

For starters, they are likely to change coaches, with Frank Vogel expected to be fired by early next week. Coaching wasn’t the main problem, of course. It was roster construction. Shaq thinks the solution to is to re-construct things, and you can’t help but believe he’s right.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply