Report: Lakers current roster will ‘probably’ be roster for next season too

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled mightily in the 2021-22 season, as they are currently 26-31 and hold the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference standings.

Despite the team’s struggles, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed on the Brian Windhorst & the Hoop Collective podcast that the core of the Lakers’ 2021-22 roster is expected to remain the same next season.

While Shelburne explained that some of the players on minimum deals will change, it is likely LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook will be back in the 2022-23 season.

“That’s some of the phrasing I’ve heard,” Shelburne said. “‘Let’s not make a change to make a change. Let’s make a change when we know it’s going to make us a lot better.’ And I’ve even heard the phrasing, ‘This is probably going to be the roster next year, too.’

“Now, obviously, the minimum contract guys will change, but I think this is what they’ve got. There was a couple of weird signals I’ve seen since that. I don’t think LeBron’s been in a situation where he just gets told, ‘No,’ flat out very often. Even Dan Gilbert eventually kind of bent.”

This is an interesting decision by the Lakers, as the team clearly hasn’t played well in the 2021-22 campaign. However, it can be argued that injuries to Davis and James have furthered the Lakers’ struggles this season.

In the 17 games that James has missed this season, the Lakers have gone just 6-11. They are 20-20 when he is in the lineup.

The Lakers will need to find a way for Westbrook, James and Davis to mesh down the stretch of the 2021-22 season if they want to make a playoff run, and it is possible that can be a springboard for next season.

Lakers fans may not like that the team is willing to run it back, but the reality of the situation is that Westbrook’s deal is too hard to move for the Lakers to get anything valuable back.

It will be interesting to see if the team’s plans change this coming offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.