It has been a nightmarish start for the Los Angeles Lakers.
A 3-10 record, a -6.4 net rating, and a league-worst 106.1 offensive rating.
Last season was bad, but this season now threatens to be much worse.
Major changes could be on the horizon.
Here are two bold predictions for the Lakers.
1. Both Future Firsts Are Traded
Reports to this point have stated the Lakers’ front office refuses to trade both remaining first-round picks that they have (2027 and 2029).
But those reports mainly came during the preseason when there was still hope.
Shams says the Lakers will resist trading first-round picks if the season continues to go down this path. pic.twitter.com/eEscEY8JXd
— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) November 8, 2022
All hope is gone at this point.
The Lakers roster as currently assembled is not good enough to make the playoffs, much less compete for a title.
Even prime LeBron James would have trouble dragging this roster to relevancy.
So, the Lakers will do what they must to capitalize on the last remaining years of James’ prime.
There are only two players that remain from the team that won the title back in 2020 – James and Anthony Davis.
Having the same two stars that won a title just three years ago is hope they could do it again with a better supporting cast.
Flipping Russell Westbrook and the two future firsts for quality role players could instantly vault the Lakers back into contention.
2. Lakers Make the Playoffs Outright
These are supposed to be bold predictions, so we will go really bold here.
Not only will the Lakers make the postseason this year, they will do so outright – i.e. no play-in tournament.
The Lakers have not had an easy schedule to this point.
It softens up over the next two weeks with three games against the San Antonio Spurs as well as games against the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
That should allow them to build off their recent win against the Brooklyn Nets.
Getting James back from injury will also help.
LeBron James on Lakers’ poor shooting in loss to Warriors: “We’re getting great looks, but it could also be teams giving us great looks. To be completely honest, we’re not a team constructed of great shooting… It’s not like we’re sitting here with a lot of lasers on our team.” pic.twitter.com/VfqWnKcQ3D
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 19, 2022
This prediction also relies on the Lakers flipping Westbrook and the draft picks for better supporting talent.
Adding some “lasers”, as James labels them, around himself and Davis should greatly benefit the offense.
Removing Westbrook from the equation should also help improve team chemistry in the locker room.
The formula is there to win a title with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Better supporting pieces and improved team chemistry could be all this team needs to get back to the postseason.