To say the Los Angeles Lakers is a franchise in disarray would be an understatement. While they do have superstar LeBron James under contract for the next three seasons, they are:
- In the midst of a six-year postseason drought
- Figuring out how to convince a top-tier free agent to join them
- Figuring out how to acquire New Orleans Pelicans All-Star center, Anthony Davis
- Heading into the offseason with great uncertainty surrounding head coach Luke Walton, and the task of replacing him if he is fired
- Facing an uncertain future about forward Brandon Ingram’s health after he was diagnosed with blood clots
- Faced with the decision of replacing or re-signing multiple players who have expiring contracts; and
- Recovering from the sudden resignation of President of Basketball Operations/Franchise Icon Magic Johnson.
One of these tasks is significant in and of itself, but the combination is quite a to-do list for one organization to deal with. The most pressing issue was what to do about head coach Luke Walton. It has been the worst kept secret in basketball that Walton is most likely on his way out. Now that Magic has preceded Walton’s probable exit with his own, what will the Lakers’ course of action be? With whom do you replace Magic? Do you target/acquire Magic’s replacement before pursuing/hiring a (potential) new head coach? Do you keep or replace the players with expiring contracts? How much input do you seek from/allow LeBron to have? A lot of questions that demand answers. Soon.
This summer is pivotal for the Lakers franchise. Even had Magic stayed onboard, all of the other questions needed to be answered. With Magic’s exit, the task has grown even more daunting, as the Lakers will have to rebound from the shock of his departure. Although some of his decisions had drawn sneers and skepticism, Magic’s presence is irreplaceable. While finding a better decision maker may be accomplished, there is only one Magic Johnson.
To that end, the Lakers have many a difficult task awaiting them. Not only do they have the unenviable responsibility of recovering from Magic’s resignation, but they also have a lame duck coach who knows his job status is tenuous at best. Top that off with the roster decisions that need to be addressed along with (hopefully) persuading a top-tier free agent to come and join LeBron James’ efforts in bringing the franchise back to respectability. These are all tasks that are definitely not for the faint of heart.
After celebrating the signing of LeBron in the summer of 2018, Lakers fans are hopeful that the summer of 2019 brings renewed happiness. The Lakers have several critical decisions as an organization to be made, and they have to be dealt with head-on, as this summer could eventually make or break them. Lakers fans are hopeful that the right moves are made to restore the franchise to not only respectability but elite status. Now more than ever, the Laker faithful wants to know, what’s next?