‘Wait For LeBron to Get Healthy’: Former Pacers Star Predicts Lakers Plans Ahead of 2021-22 Season

Published 06/10/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Lakers are hard-wired to shoot for championships in every season. Putting aside those last years of Kobe Bryant’s regime, the Lake Show has always looked determined at winning the title and never really downplaying to win draft lotteries. Unfortunately for them, the current season ended in haste as they saw an early-round playoff exit. 

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Many still think what if the Lakers had lost their play-in to the Warriors and won it against the Grizzlies to meet Jazz in Round 1? But even the most optimistic analysts would still count them out because their duo wasn’t fit enough to survive the postseason anyway. 

So what can the Lake Show do in the coming year as a revamp?

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Lakers and their off-season dynamics

In a recent interview, former NBA player and now an analyst, Jalen Rose gave his estimation of the Lakers’ off-season. The 48-YO retired player confidently expressed, “They won’t make significant changes because none of the cornerstones will be uprooted. There won’t be any changes with Frank Vogel, and obviously no change with LeBron and AD.”

He then moved on to Dennis Schroder who turned down his contract mid-season extension hoping to receive a bigger chunk in the off-season. Jalen added, “I’ll be resigning Dennis Schroder, he turned down an $80 million deal, he did perform well in the playoffs. It is never good when Magic Johnson tweets you’re not a Laker, it’s not good for negotiations…”

The Menace with the Lakers was not as successful as he was with OKC last year. So perhaps now the Lakers can either lock him in a smaller amount or let him cut loose.

Further, the Pacers’ legend picked Trezz and added, “Look at Montrezl Harrell as a player option, he went from the Clippers to the Lakers. He thought he was going to increase his value, he decreased his value. So he’ll probably opt back in…” Yes, the former 6MOY could not do justice with his title and might want to stay in the Lakers to increase his value before wanting to move out.

May 27, 2021; LeBron James celebrates against the Suns in game three at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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Which other pieces can expect movement?

Talking about another playoff disaster, it is Kyle Kuzma, who averaged just 6.3 points in the postseason. He disappointed everyone even during the games when he got the chance to start with the lineup and further weakened his spot.

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As Jalen Rose noted, “Third piece is Kyle Kuzma, who most people should remember that he is an asset, like was taken late in the first round, you lose Ball, you lose Ingram, you still hold on to him and all of a sudden he becomes a rotation player. Not a consistent player, but his game isn’t an equal fit with LeBron and AD upfront. So those are the three players… they’re gonna be like any changes in rotational players… So stay patient, it’s a wide-open championship this year, just wait for LeBron to get healthy.”

Apart from those names, the Lakers might not want to let go of Alex Caruso because he proved to be a floor spacer and a backup starter like none else. Plus, Talen Horton-Tucker has also shown a promising talent and coach Vogel would like to see how he grows. But as far as the centers in Andre Drummond and Marc Gasol go, a buyout or other packages might have their names if needed. 

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So what would you say, apart from a healthy Bron & AD, what else do the Lakers want? Should they strive for another All-Star piece or stick to the current team? Help us know in the comments.

Watch this story – List of Off-season Point Guards Lakers Need to Keep an Eye On

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Sourabh Singh

1621 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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