Despite what some people say, the Los Angeles Lakers are still a professional basketball team.
Yes, they are sitting out the entire postseason after concluding one of their worst years in history, and, yes, they consistently played like trash all year but they really are part of the NBA and have some of the biggest names in the game.
However, one NBA writer is pointing out what could have been.
In the summer of 2017- the Lakers had D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the second overall pick (which could have drafted Jayson Tatum).
Holy moly ….
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) April 25, 2022
Ben Stinar points out that just a few summers ago, the Lakers had D’Angelo Russell (now of the Minnesota Timberwolves), Brandon Ingram (currently playing for the New Orleans Pelicans), Julius Randle (of the New York Knicks), and Jordan Clarkson (of the Utah Jazz).
The team also had a second overall pick in the draft, which could have netted them Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
That’s a dream team of potential since all of those players are doing incredible work on their respective teams.
But is it really fair to blame LA for missing these opportunities?
What Could Have Been
It’s true that the Lakers have employed some of the best young players in the NBA – just years before they really hit their primes.
Of course, LA should have kept Russell, Ingram, and the rest of those players.
But it is important to remember that the league moves quickly and the goal of most teams is to win as soon as possible.
When the team made the trades that sent these players and draft picks away, they were doing so because they were following the most realistic path to victory.
Remember, they traded these guys before they were the players they are today.
These are huge missed opportunities without a doubt and it hurts to see LA miss multiple chances at greatness.
But, at the time, these trades made a bit more sense.