One NBA executive appears to be enjoying the Los Angeles Lakers’ slow start to the 2022-23 season.
According to Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett, the executive took a bit of a victory lap on the Lakers struggles with their current roster.
Los Angeles has struggled to build a winning team around LeBron James and Anthony Davis over the last few seasons, failing to win a playoff series since the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble in the 2019-20 season.
“My point always was that these guys had no f—— clue,” the executive told Heavy.com. “I said, when the old man dies and Jerry West leaves and a real professional like Mitch Kupchak leaves the Lakers, that you’re gonna see the fastest freefall of a legacy franchise you’ve ever seen. That’s exactly what happened. So they managed to pull LeBron in and got involved with him and Klutch, and he came in and got them a championship in the bubble. That’s it. After that, there’s no more championships.
“Look where they are now and tell me when the hell they’re going to have a chance to compete for a championship again.”
The Lakers are just 2-8 to begin the 2022-23 season, and they are fresh off missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 campaign. Last season’s struggles were due to a variety of factors, including injuries to James and Davis.
After trading for guard Russell Westbrook, the Lakers have struggled to put together a solid roster around James and Davis. Last season, the team attempted to fill out the squad with veterans, but it struggled when Davis, who only played 40 games, and James were out.
Veterans like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and others were not brought back this season in an attempt to revamp the roster.
This past offseason, general manager Rob Pelinka shifted his strategy, bringing in young players like Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., Damian Jones and others. However, the Lakers have struggled mightily shooting the ball so far in the 2022-23 campaign.
Westbrook has moved to the bench and played much better in that role, averaging 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 48.0 percent from 3-point range as a reserve.
Despite that, the Lakers are in the No. 14 spot in the Western Conference at this point in the season.
The executive clearly believes that Los Angeles is more than just one move away from being a title contender, even with James on the roster.
The Lakers could attempt to make a trade to shake things up, especially if they leverage their first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts, but it may not be enough to compete for a championship this season.
Pelinka and the Lakers front office will have their work cut out for them as the 2022-23 season progresses.