The LA Lakers and Magic Johnson, in particular, vowed to give their all each season when they took over from LeBron James in the summer of 2018. Because of this, they mortgaged the future to bring in Anthony Davis and continued to do so to acquire Russell Westbach.
After the franchise changes landing James and Davis, the Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship. They were also rebounded in the first round and missed the playoffs once. Westbrook’s acquisition last summer caused the Lakers to miss the playoffs again this season. If the Lakers front office is true to their word, they shouldn’t stop doing whatever it takes to give “King James” another shot at a title.
Chris Broussard, on The Odd Couple podcast, questioned the Lakers’ reluctance to part with a first-round pick to deliver Westbrook for a better match:
“Once you have LeBron James, every year it tries to win everything, right?! I don’t build anything. We go for it. LeBron, that’s his mentality. It should be his mentality in his 20th year, and it should be the mentality of the organization, so I don’t care about the selection if I’m the Lakers.
A year ago, James mistakenly thought Westbrook was the answer to his desire for another superstar to help carry the burden of the title. This season it could turn out that the former MVP will be shipped as part of a trade pack for another player or a few players.
The Lakers have appeared to make Westbrook’s stay work. But after the fiery point guard’s exit interview in which he blamed everyone for this season, it seems highly unlikely that next season could get any better.
According to Broussard, if a future first-round pick is an obstacle to moving the triple-double king, the Lakers shouldn’t even have to think about it:
“If I’m the Lakers, I’m not worried about a 2027, a 2029, whatever the year, draft pick. My plan is to be so good that this draft pick is a low draft pick anyway! They attempted to rebuild through the draft. Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and it didn’t work!
“And they’re all pretty good players now, but they’re not with the Lakers anymore. They didn’t work with the Lakers and they didn’t work with LeBron James.”
Pushing for LeBron James extension could force LA Lakers to trade Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook question aside, LeBron James’ upcoming contract talks will keep owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka up all night. The four-time MVP will reportedly keep his options moving as his immediate goal is to win a championship before his son Bronny James is drafted (no sooner than 2024).
If the LA Lakers can enlist a player or two for Westbrook who can increase their odds of winning, James could continue his Hollywood history. Anthony Davis is suspended until the 2024-25 season, which should coincide when “King James” signs a two-year extension.
LA Rams general manager Les Snead won the Super Bowl last season with his now-famous quote, “F**k ’em picks.” The Lakers may need to take a cue from this if they are to keep their promise to James and add Banner #18 to the rafters.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/basketball/news-lebron-it-mentality-20th-year-organization-s-mentality-chris-broussard-believes-la-lakers-forget-draft-picks-build-win-now-team?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda “LeBron… it should be his mentality in his 20th year and It should be the organization’s mentality”