Entering his 20th season, LeBron James knows his window to another NBA title is getting smaller with every passing year. The LA Lakers will be looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2021-22 season, but may not be able to do so with what they currently have.
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka may have to run back the same Big 3 that could hardly play together or work well as a unit when they were available this season. Colin Cowherd, on his podcast, is already calling the next campaign a lost cause for the 18x All-Star.
Here’s what the veteran sports analyst had to say about the LA Lakers’ title aspirations for next season:
“I think this is the first year in LeBron’s last 15 to have zero chance to compete for the championship, forget winning a championship next year, that’s not gonna happen.”
“You really think Anthony Davis is gonna be healthy for the entire season? You think the Westbrook thing is gonna turn around? Darvin Ham is a rookie coach, they got no bench, they’re too old and no players in their prime.”
The odds are seemingly stacked against the Lakers. Anthony Davis has played a combined 76 games over the last two years. He’s also been out of shape entering the season since winning the title in 2020.
First-time head coach Darvin Ham has considered AD to be the key to the Lakers’ success moving forward. If that’s the case, LeBron James’ title chances could be in jeopardy as “The Brow” has been injury-prone for most of his career.
The Russell Westbrook experiment remains a big question before the 2022-23 NBA season starts. Ham has vowed to push for more effort and intensity from Westbrook on defense while still operating within James’ offense.
While “Brodie” has expressed excitement at being held accountable, it remains to be seen how the fit will work. Ham is basically asking him to become a new player and leave behind some of his major characteristics.
The Lakers are also bound to have almost no room to restructure their supporting cast without going over the salary cap. They also don’t have the draft capital after mortgaging their future first for Davis and then for Westbrook.
LA may be forced to punt this year and this is probably why “King James” just wants to play out the final year of his contract. Should he do so, he’ll have all the options on the table regarding where he will get the best opportunity to add another championship to his resume.
LeBron James’ pursuit of another NBA title could take him outside of Hollywood
Team owner Jeanie Buss has vowed to keep LeBron James even if the four-time MVP refuses to sign an extension with the Lakers. If LA is not trading him for draft capital and players, the Lakers will get nothing in return once he walks away when his contract is finished.
In that case, LeBron James will have a host of teams waiting for his services. He will most likely sign for a team that will give him the best chance of winning another NBA title. If he’s going that route, he may look to end up in San Francisco to play for the Golden State Warriors.
Over the last few months, “King James” has expressed his willingness to play with Steph Curry and the Warriors. With the way the Bay Area team’s future is shaping up to be, the four-time champion may want to get his fifth ring alongside his bitter rivals.