Shaq says Lakers ‘definitely have to get younger’ and should keep LeBron, Russ and A.D. together

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do this offseason.

After a wildly disappointing 2021-22 campaign, the team is going to need to make some changes this summer in order to contend next season.

Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal recently offered his take on how L.A. should approach things. He thinks the team should keep its trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook intact and add some youth around those guys.

“I think they definitely have to get younger,” O’Neal told Reuters.

“So if they can keep LeBron, Russell and AD, everyone else needs to be very young. You can’t have five or six guys in their upper 30s because the league is getting younger and faster.”

O’Neal further explained why the Lakers need an infusion of youth.

“To have, as Chuck (Charles Barkley) says, old geezers running up against these young boys, it’s not going to work over an 82-game stretch,” he continued.

Some folks think the Lakers should do whatever it takes to move on from Westbrook this offseason, as his fit with the rest of L.A.’s roster was nothing short of disastrous this season.

However, it’s clear that some people believe the team should keep the former MVP around for another season to see if things are different in the 2022-23 campaign.

Time will tell how the matter unfolds. Westbrook himself has a say in the situation, as he has a player option on his contract for the 2022-23 season. If he were to decline the option, his time with the Lakers would come to an end, though it seems like a sure thing that he’ll take advantage of the option given its roughly $47 million value.

The Lakers finished the 2021-22 regular season with a 33-49 record. After entering the season with title hopes, the team didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.

The hope is that next season won’t have a similar outcome. L.A. won it all in the 2019-20 season, and the organization is looking to win another title before its window closes.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.