After two consecutive opportunities to land coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves back to square one. Aldridge was unimpressed by the glitz and glamor of the “City of Angels”. The tactics used to attract big name free agents to large markets is now a thing of the past. The Lakers must do what every other dormant franchise in the league has done which is rebuild.
They must utilize the NBA Draft wisely and build from within the organization. So far they had taken steps to accomplish that when they selected D’Angelo Russell out of The Ohio State University. The role of the point guard was nonexistent for the Lakers in 2014. Russell will come in and address those issues that the Lakers had at the position.
If you observed Russell’s posture at the NBA Draft, it looks like he is not afraid of the expectations that come with being a part of the Lakers franchise. General Manager Mitch Kupchak does not have to worry about the load being too big for Russell to handle in the purple and goal uniform. Even though the Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell in the draft, their ultimate goal was to sign LaMarcus Aldridge.
If Aldridge had signed with the Lakers, we are probably having a different conversation right now, in regards to who are the heavyweights in the Western Conference. The touted free agent decided to sign with the Lakers long- time rival the San Antonio Spurs. Even though the Golden State Warriors took home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Spurs are everyone’s favorite to represent the West in the Finals next year.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are finalizing a trade for Pacers center Roy Hibbert. That could be a good pick up for the Lakers; however, which Roy Hibbert will they get? Will it be the Hibbert that was nonexistent in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat? Or will they get the monster that contributed to extending the 2013 Conference Finals, to seven games?
There are just too many question marks surrounding the possible acquisition of Roy Hibbert. It is not the first time that a big name free agent has shunned away from the bright lights of Los Angeles. In last year’s free agency period, the Lakers fail to re-sign center Dwight Howard. Last year’s class featured LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. That was a pretty large free agent pool to pick from. The Lakers struck out on not signing any of the three that were mentioned.
The Lakers projected starting lineup looks good on paper, but you know how that goes when the “it looks good on paper” saying is used. Unfortunately, for Lakers fans it will be another “wait till next year” type of season unless the Lakers get on a magical run and make the playoffs. Odds are it will not happen. The rebuilding bug hit the Dallas Cowboys after their years of dominating the National Football League.
Now that they have utilized the draft wisely they are finally on their way back to dominance in a league that is filled with parity. Now it’s time for the Lakers to start rebuilding from within and cut ties with aging superstar Kobe Bryant. It was an honor to witness his greatness on the court; however it’s time for the Lakers to move on.
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