This has been said many times over the past few offseasons, but this time around…it could be true. It was the most important offseason in recent Los Angeles Lakers history.
There are still important moves and decisions to be made around the coaching staff, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and, well…everything.
There are many ways that things can go wrong. There are many more ways to be quite right. When it comes to expectations, I try not to be too high or too low. But for fun, or to give myself a little laugh and stress relief as we continue into this offseason, I think about what the worst and best-case scenario could be for the Lakers this offseason.
First, I’ll use my imagination and try to predict what bad decisions could lead to the worst offseason scenarios, starting with…
Lakers Trades 2027 and 2029 first-round pick and Russell Westbrook to Rockets for John Wall
You can never have too many Klutch Sports clients on your roster, right? Russell Westbrook has a long list of flaws, and in this case, the Lakers management decided— small Of course, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Rich Paul are convincing — Westbrook’s rep is one of them.
So, instead of having the Big Three represented by only 66.7% of the Klutch, what if they didn’t think there was a better way to try to make peace with their most powerful proxy ally? and Going back to title contention instead of making it better, or even 100%?
Because of this thinking (which was not at all imposed on them under the threat of LeBron leaving after the upcoming season), the team traded not just one, but two first-round picks as well as Westbrook to acquire Rockets guard and Klutch client John Wall.
As it turns out, the Rockets can keep Wall at home for another season, and they’ve bumped up their asking price by a first-round pick since the two teams were first considered at the 2022 trade deadline. The Lakers, back to their usual ravioli of disregarding first-round picks, agreed. Other trade suitors, such as the Hornets and Pacers, noticed this continued aversion to the asset before the Lakers even agreed to the deal, as they realised the Lakers had sub-zero leverage and threw their offer removed from the table.
In the worst 2022 offseason, the first domino just fell. But things, somehow, got worse because…
Kurt Rambis placed on staff at Darvin Ham
People cheat. Rumors and reports are not always to be trusted. In this case, a recent story was revealed as misleading. Because while Ham was reportedly promised Rambis “won’t show up at coaching meetings as often as he and Vogel”, That’s because Rambis will be more than just a regular presence: he’ll be there as a lead assistant.
Jenny Buss and Rob Pelinka want to make sure Rambis feels fully capable of bringing his impressive coaching experience to Ham’s staff, who has a lifetime record of 65-164 on the job.That record shaped Rambis’ mind into one of the NBA’s greatest minds, a true galactic brain that deliberately wanted more DeAndre Jordan for his basketball team.
After LeBron and his company gained more leverage by swapping Westbrook for Wall, Lakers management realized that despite their greatest power, they were being used. Their positive response to taking back control was to force Rambis on Ham’s employees.
Ham and Rambis reportedly traded in the future following the Lakers’ third straight loss of the season, the duo and LeBron James recreate what we naively thought was the infamous Kobe Bryant of 2012-13 The pictures of Lyont, Dwight Howard and Mike D’Antoni are the trough.
But until then, the Lakers have to deal with free agency, and after the first two subheadings… well, you might guess it’s not going well in this universe either.
Lakers have little interest in free agency, use exception for Hassan Whiteside
Trading Russell Westbrook may be the best way for the Lakers to make a positive impact on the roster by collecting two, maybe three role players on contracts close to Westbrook’s final year of $4,700. Ten thousand U.S. dollars. his contract.
Since that’s out of the question, the team only has a taxpayer middle-class exception of about $6.3 million, and another bunch of veteran minimum contracts to lure people into the team.
The expectation is that Malik Monk is the most likely recipient of the exception, returning to the team with a small raise after being one of the few bright spots last season. However, he ended up earning an additional $10.3 million through a non-taxpayer mid-level exception from the New York Knicks seeking some offensive firepower.
Into… free agent Hassan Whiteside?
You’ll want the Lakers to be in any If not for Monk, power wing after watching a handful of such players make a huge impact during the 2022 NBA playoffs. But, of course, the only thing the Lakers front office liked more than what broke our hearts was a power center, so they used a mid-level at Whiteside while also inexplicably re-signing Rambis favorites DeAndre Jordan and Dwight. Howard. They helped form Mount Rushmore, a 7-footer who couldn’t really shoot (sorry, AD), and after Kurt and Ham’s power struggle, AD ended up with Kurt as interim head coach. Start at small forward.
But before the season started, the Lakers tried to re-sign their biggest star, and as you might have guessed, it didn’t go well either…
LeBron James doesn’t renew, says they’ll talk again in offseason, leaks report he’ll test free agency and leave with intent
In what may have been the most normal part of the 2022 offseason so far, LeBron did what some expected him to do and turned down an extension offered by the Lakers.
but why? In addition to putting Rambis on the bench, the Lakers succumbed to LeBron’s bid to get Russ to trade with some of the worst asset management imaginable? Why is he not happy?
It turns out that he had been planning this, and the effort to acquire Wall was just a prank by the Lakers, speeding up their rebuilding period and making it worse than originally planned.
LeBron will miss two out of every three games during the season as he exhibits the NBA’s version of “senile fever,” the mysterious “load management.”
Check it out now! Despite what has happened this offseason, things could be far worse than they ended up being. Even with Westbrook staying on the team.
The Lakers organization appears to have recognized some of their past mistakes by hiring a seemingly suitable head coach and reportedly giving him appropriate trades and freedom to pick staff, further evidence of their increased ability.
The team is off to a good start, which basically guarantees that the aforementioned doom and gloom doesn’t happen, and there’s enough hope that the front office can make the team more competitive than in 2021 — 22 the Lakers have to offer. But this way, even if it doesn’t go the way we want it, it still exceeds the lowest possible expectations. You’re welcome.
Next week, we’ll have more fun imagining what the best-case scenario for the Lakers’ offseason will look like.
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