The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly plan to run their current roster back in the 2023-24 season, and they reportedly won’t pursue star guard Kyrie Irving in the offseason.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto the “Kyrie ship” has sailed for Los Angeles at this time.
“From what I’ve been told, they’re not going to be pursuing Kyrie Irving this offseason,” Buha said. “To my knowledge and to what I’ve been told, the Kyrie ship, I think, has sailed. You never want to say never. That could easily change, but as of right now, their plan is to run this (team) back.”
However, Los Angeles pivoted nicely, adding D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in a three-team deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz. The Lakers had previously brought in forward Rui Hachimura, and they added center Mo Bamba in a separate deal right before the deadline.
Los Angeles has played well as of late, although it did lose to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night with Anthony Davis and LeBron James out of the lineup.
Still, the Lakers are the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference and just one game back of the No. 7-seeded Timberwolves. With James nursing a foot injury, Los Angeles will hopefully get a chance to truly see what it has in this new core down the stretch of the regular season.
The additions Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office made at the deadline certainly improved the team’s depth and shooting, two areas that were clearly lacking earlier in the season.
Since James has a player option in his deal following the 2023-24 campaign, it may make sense to run this team back rather than swinging for a star like Irving, especially since James may not be with the team for the long term.
Not only that, but the Lakers tried to build a three-star team with James, Davis and Russell Westbrook, and that experiment failed miserably with the team missing the playoffs altogether last season.
After winning an NBA title in the 2019-20 season with a strong group of role players around James and Davis, it appears the Lakers are turning back to that strategy going forward.
The team will have a lot of work to do to keep everyone on the roster though, as Hachimura, Russell, Austin Reaves and others are set to become free agents this coming summer.