5 Things That Should Happen Sooner But Won’t

Not until we’re mathematically eliminated, anyhow.

1) Rest LeBron. He’ll pass Jordan and Kobe for points and field goals this season, he’ll have more milestones in the purple and gold. The last thing anyone associated with the Lakers wants is for James to re-injure himself or add a new injury to the list. We might certainly start to see a minutes reduction the further from playoff contention we drift.

2) More of the vets. Let ’em play, if they’re not hurt, this can be their audition for looking for a new team this summer. Regardless the only non-young core Laker I’d entertain re-signing is Bullock. Rondo would be on that list but he’s not able to play NBA defense for an entire season and with LBJ also needing a little time to rest on that end we only have room for so many ‘kinda need to rest on D’ players. The rest of the vets have been disappointing, to say the least.

3) Decide right now if you’re going to build around any of the young Lakers. Honestly, their trade value took a hit to a man this season. Of all of them Ingram improved the most, Kuzma was the best fit with LeBron and Hart and Ball somehow managed to take steps backwards. Something for every Laker fan to think about: had he stayed a Laker Ivicia Zubac would have probably been the 3rd best player of what was once a young Laker core of 5 players. That’s kind of sobering when you step back and look at how poorly Hart ended up playing overall as the season wore on and how hard it is for Lonzo Ball to score. Those are huge issues that won’t go away with one summer of work. Of course that is all just my opinion, maybe we can trade for a player like AD but I, for one, doubt that will happen.

4) Hire better people. This has become mind-boggling. We’re consistently listed as the highest value, often one of the most profitable sports organizations on planet Earth. That doesn’t happen by accident but it also didn’t happen in a vacuum. That happened, for the most part, on Dr. Jerry Buss’ watch. Since that flame has gone out the Lakers have done a lot of things wrong. From desperate billboards to hiring coaches based on secret notebooks to putting just about the whole team on the trading block and subsequently denying it went down like that. The Lakers look more ordinary with each passing year. For brief moment the signing of LeBron James seemed to herald a new day only for the front office to bet on old school and high IQ rather than chemistry or fit.

5) Get a top notch training staff on the payroll. The Lakers have lost a staggering amount of money and games to injured players in the last 5 years (thanks for that graph, magicman). While most of that happened under Gary Vitti’s twilight the narrative certainly didn’t change this year. Injuries happen, it’s a part of sports, but the rate and length in which Lakers go down is too high. Time to improve in that area, as well.

There is yet a mathematical reality that has yet to set in. Until that happens I expect the Lakers to put up as much fight as they can. But the plain truth is sitting there staring at us all: the Kid and LeBron might have been enough had things gone perfectly but the NBA season is too long and the intensity of the games too high for that level of perfection to be a realistic expectation. We need a better team.