At 1.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs, L.A. will, in all likelihood, not reach the play-in tournament.
Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal had a relatively simple suggestion for what his former team needs to do to improve this offseason.
"Keep LeBron and AD and make moves for everybody else."
Shaq on what moves the Lakers should make this offseason👀 pic.twitter.com/PVK8NdSu1a
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 3, 2022
Coming into this season, L.A. was expected to contend for the NBA championship after it made a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook.
But instead, it is on its way to becoming arguably the greatest single-season embarrassment or disappointment in the modern history of sports.
Although Westbrook hasn’t quite been the disaster many have made him out to be, the Lakers did give up three good role players and a first-round draft pick to get him, which depleted them of depth.
Instead of signing the young, athletic players O’Neal said they need to replenish that lost depth, they acquired old, over-the-hill men such as Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza and DeAndre Jordan.
The capper has been the rash of key injuries that have kept LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kendrick Nunn out of so many games this season and forced head coach Frank Vogel to go with a ton of different starting lineups through the course of the year.
James could very well have one or two more elite seasons left in him, and Davis, when healthy, is still one of the best players in the world, and a revamped supporting cast could return the team to elite status next year.
But for now, it is going out in extremely meek fashion.