The Lakers have gone 5 and 9 over the last 14 games without Lebron. They’re out of the playoffs as of today. I pretty much knew that something like this could happen when I made a video before the season even began, and got a ton of hate about it. Thing is, James also knew that this could happen. This is exactly what he signed up for.
So what’s next for the Lakers? Let’s try to break it down and get some answers. What up everybody my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
First things first, this is definitely not a video bashing Lebron nor the young guys on the roster for the position they’re in.
I actually like the energy and fight that they have in them. It’s just that they are who they are.
Kyle Kuzma is a nice scorer. Of course in the games that Lebron plays he’s gonna be way more efficient (48.2) from the field than the games without him (43.9). At this point in time he seems like a guy who could develop in a dangerous high level offensive weapon, and be a great player for this team although He hasn’t been good from 3. Especially when you consider the fact that most of his shots are wide open. And missing shots from positions like these is a little worrying.
On the topic of open threes check out Josh Hart’s numbers from downtown while playing with Lebron, and after he got injured. He is the prototypical Lebron James teammate that stretches the floor and thrives when getting the ball off of the double team for the open three. Something like JR Smith was on the Cavs.
Lonzo Ball...I’ve always compared him to Jeremy Lin. Lonzo was extremely hyped coming into the NBA and Jeremy Lin had that Linsanity stretch with the Knicks, but when all the dust settles, we are talking about average players. The thing against Lonzo is the fact that although we know he is a good passer with great court vision and can push the tempo, he can’t showcase it that often because so much of the Lakers offense goes through Lebron.
Btw we knew that he is an inefficient shooter but did you know that Ball is shooting 41% from the free throw line? 41%! That’s crazy.
So I love his playmaking skills but all things considered how high is his ceiling?
And you got Brandon Ingram. At first sight he is very flashy, has a lot of moves, very fun to watch. Still very young and full of hope and promise. With his length kinda reminds of KD. I get all of that but, when you look deeper you can see that he hasn’t been a big time scorer, and not a mention that he is a below average rebounder for his size.
So why do I say all that? This is the young core that the Lakers consider untradeable. But right now this is all very mediocre. And mediocre hasn’t been in Lebron’s vocabulary, and I know he won’t start using it in his last few years that he can possibly compete for a championship.
Maybe some of them can be great in 3 years but Lebron can’t wait. He is in win now mode.
Thing is, again, he knew all of this, he was prepared, and he consciously signed up for it.
So someone will definitely get traded.
To me Ingram is the most likely candidate. In fact I only consider him to be a trading asset just because of the fact that I don’t see him making the jump to a star in this team. And that’s especially if Durant somehow decides to sign with the Lakers in free agency.
I would love to see Lonzo play with either KD or Anthony Davis. That would be fun.
Out of the guys right now, I see Kuzma providing Lebron the most help and actually being valuable when the Lakers get another superstar. When they get it, not if. Keep that in mind. Whether you’re a Laker fan, a casual NBA fan or whatever, better believe that James is pulling the strings behind the curtain. From going to dinners with Durant, to having Davis sign with his agent and best friend, or phone calls with Kyrie Irving, better believe that someone big is gonna join him in LA, and some of the youngsters that are now on the roster, are going to be a collateral damage and dealt away.