Are the Lakers Really Contenders?

kyle-kuzma-anthony-davis-lebron-james.jpgNew York Post

This is my brief rant on why I think the Los Angeles Lakers are not championship contenders:

Front Office: The Los Angels Lakers have not had a winning season with Jeannie Bus running the Laker Organization. The Rambis family has done nothing but storm the franchise with manipulation and power control. Lastly, Rob Pelinka is unproven, and we will see if the issue was truly Magic Johnson or him. The man came in with no front office experience and now runs one of the biggest organizations in sports. Time will tell.

Coaching: Frank Vogel was decent with Indiana back when they challenged LeBron James and the Heat for a few years. Since then, that Pacers team tanked horribly, and now have bounced back, due to strong front office moves and the surprising success of head coach Nate McMillan. Vogel failed with the Orlando Magic, and was ultimately hired as a backup plan after things turned sour with Ty Lue. Jason Kidd and Lionel Hollins will be on the staff as well, both former head coaches in the NBA. Expect them to be in Vogel and LeBron’s ear constantly, as I am sure they want Vogel’s job.

Free Agency: There is a reason those who the Lakers picked up in free agency were on the market when they were. Danny Green is solid, but is he worth $15M a year? He wasn’t great down the last stretch of the playoffs last season and wasn’t very relevant before the trade to Toronto. Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley are both old and washed up. Quinn Cook is fine, but will he push them over the edge? No. Jared Dudely is not good at basketball. Someone, please justify that signing for me. KCP has been absolute trash for the Lakers for the past few years too. Boogie Cousins was a good addition, especially adding to their size and depth, but he didn’t look right last season and there is a true question mark about how much is left in the tank. Achilles injuries ruin careers. Lastly, holding onto Kyle Kuzma in the AD trade was big for the Lakers, but will he be that great? He only shot about 30% from 3 last year. That’s pretty rough with a squad of misfits and mediocre shooters to surround LeBron with.

LeBron and AD: LeBron is going into his 17th year at age 34. I think he is for sure due for a comeback year, but what is his ceiling? He did say “playoff mode activated” last year and they ended with a losing record with him on the floor, missing the playoffs. LeBron is amazing and will put up his regular absurd stats, but this is a whole new team with a brand new coach. I smell another slow starting LeBron team. I know Tom Brady continues to beat father time, but basketball is a far different sport than football. I love Anthony Davis. He is certainly a tremendous talent. That being said, if Davis gets hurt, the Lakers are screwed.

I am thrilled for the NBA this season, but we need to pump the brakes on the Lakers and see how this plays out. After all, we haven’t seen the Lakers in the playoffs since 2013.

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