Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Los Angeles Lakers Offseason Needs

Lakers Curt Johnson/ via


The Next Steps In L.A!

The Los Angeles LaVars…I mean the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t made the playoffs since the 2012-2013 NBA season. Even that year they finished seventh and got swept by the Spurs in the first round. Anyone can do that. My fellow TSJ writers and I could form a team and get swept by the Spurs. In fact, since their last championship in 2010, the Lakers have failed to even make it out of the second round. I’ll refrain from putting “convince Kobe to come out of retirement” on here, even though we all know that’s what they need most.

Find Kobe’s “replacement,” a new Lakers Shooting Guard

I said I wouldn’t say they needed Kobe back, but they do need a new franchise shooting guard. While long-term-commitment-worthy SGs aren’t that readily available, they can do better than their current situation. Los Angeles currently lists Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as their starting shooting guard. No offense to KCP, but he shouldn’t be starting for any team with playoff aspirations. Los Angeles honestly might have found their answer at every other position. Lonzo at point guard, the improving Brandon Ingram at small forward, Julius Randle at power forward, and All-Star Brook Lopez at center.

If the Lakers are in the market for a shooting guard, they shouldn’t be looking for a temporary replacement. With all the other pieces slowly falling into place, this could be the last piece they need to become relevant again. If the Warriors somehow let Ian Clark walk, he should be on the Lakers radar. If they want to go the veteran route, and that’s not a route that will provide a long-term solution, guys like Monta Ellis, Gerald Henderson, and Tony Allen could be other options.

Distance themselves from LaVar

Okay so this isn’t exactly about the Lakers’ performance on the court…..but it could be. I trust Magic Johnson to ignore the LaVar-Lonzo hype/drama/who knows what to call it and just focus on playing basketball. LaVar is a distraction, and while I have no problem with a father supporting his son, his promises of MVPs and playoff appearances are a distraction, point blank period. LaVar gets no say in the workings of the front office of the Lakers, no say in Lonzo’s playing time, and no say in anything else besides the Lonzo Ball fan club. An off-the-court distraction is not good for a team in the rebuilding process, and the further the Lakers are from LaVars rants and outlandish comments, the better off they will be.

Set the stage for Paul George to join the Lake Show

Paul George already made his desire to join his hometown (kinda, he’s from Palmdale, which is an hour from Los Angeles) team pretty clear. That all took a wacky turn when he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in early July. With PG-13 and Russell Westbrook teaming up in OKC, there is potential for Paul George to have a little fun. If George enjoys his time in Oklahoma and has a decent amount of success, his future with the Lakers could be in jeopardy. Maybe the answer to the shooting guard conundrum is PG after all. The 6’9″ Brandon Ingram at shooting guard? Maybe the 6’9″ Paul George at shooting guard and Ingram at small forward. If their California neighbors in San Fransisco can play small ball, who says the Lakers can’t play big-man ball?

Be patient

Kobe Bryant was a franchise player, all-time great, future hall-of-famer, the whole nine yards. You don’t just have a franchise player traded to you on draft night for Vlade Divac (sorry Charlotte Hornets fans). Once in a generation players like Bryant are a dime a dozen, but they do exist. The Lakers do need to find a new player to build their franchise around, that we know for sure. Is it Lonzo Ball? Maybe. Is it Brandom Ingram? Maybe. For now, they need to be happy with what they have and make the most of it. The talent is there, and so is the potential, as long as they know how to handle these young stars and don’t waste their abilities.

Even more importantly, don’t forget who you are. The Lakers are one of, if not the most successful franchise in NBA history. They won’t be in the cellar of the Western Conference standings for long. They should take a page out of the much less successful Philadelphia 76ers book (their last championship came in 1983) and trust the process. The “Showtime” and Kobe Bryant Laker days may be long gone, but the days of Laker dynasties running the NBA aren’t.

Think I missed something? Leave a comment down below. Follow TSJ Sports on Twitter @TSJ_Sports and @TSJ_NBA. You can follow me @mholzapfel3