No Guarantee Lakers Add Superstar In Free Agency

The Lakers are on a two-year plan, but as Tania Ganguli explains, the first year has left much to be desired

February 27, 2019 - 8:57 am
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LeBron James’ first season in Los Angeles has not gone according to plan. The Lakers (29-31) have been a mess for most of the year, have lost seven of their last 10 games, and are three games back of the Spurs (31-29) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Is this team any good?

“They are sometimes a good team and sometimes they play like they did in their recent road trip,” L.A. Times Lakers beat writer Tania Ganguli said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They’ve had some really impressive wins. They beat the Rockets, they beat the Warriors on the road, the Celtics on the road, the Thunder on the road – they’ve done it sometimes. But it’s almost a very predictable pattern. They’ll go and have this really big emotional win over a really good team, and then they’ll come back and just lay an egg against a team that’s way inferior to the one they just beat. They definitely have a consistency problem.”

On Jan. 17, the Lakers beat the Thunder in overtime, 138-128, in Oklahoma City to improve to 25-21. They have since gone 4-10.

“It’s getting tougher and tougher for them,” Ganguli said. “At this point, it’s not a matter of figuring something out; it’s a matter of winning games. It’s as simple as that. With each passing day, their time is running out. They’re running out of time to figure things out.”

Even if the Lakers make the playoffs, they would seemingly be no match for the Warriors (43-17) or Nuggets (42-18). LeBron James and Magic Johnson have assumed all along that they would attract another superstar player this offseason, but will they?

“I don’t know, but that’s definitely not a sure thing for next season,” Ganguli said. “They always talked about this being a two-year plan. They talked about how they’re not expecting to do it all in one year, that they got LeBron and now they can focus on getting one guy next year. That’s all they need. They keep saying that. ‘All you need is one guy.’ 

“But who’s that guy going to be?” Ganguli continued. “In order to attract a star, you have to be playing at a certain level during the season. Obviously things could change and different people could make their pitches, but it’s not a given at all that they’re going to attract one of those superstars that they need in order to become a championship team.”