Since then, however, the team has struggled. In 2021, they were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. A year later, they got even worse as they didn't even qualify for the postseason. Despite having James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers went 33-49.
They now have a new coach in Darvin Ham. Fixing this roster will be extremely difficult, so the Lakers may end up blowing it up.
The Lakers could trade Anthony Davis
There is no doubt that Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the league when healthy. However, he hasn't been able to stay healthy for a few years now.
Davis missed 42 games this season, which is more than half of the games. When he was on the court, he was fantastic. But he had two lengthy injuries (knee, ankle). That was a big reason why the Lakers ended up having an awful season.
First-round exits are not what James signed up for when he signed with the Lakers. After all, the 37-year-old is chasing greatness and trying to win a few more rings before he retires. (Despite the 2020 championship, the Lakers have missed the playoffs twice and had a first-round exit last season.)
If the Lakers end up blowing up the team, Shannon Sharpe suggests they trade Davis. According to the analyst, keeping LeBron would be a much better option.
"I know I'm only gonna have LeBron maybe two, three years max," Sharpe said. "If I were to trade a player, I'll trade AD, because I think LeBron James gives me a better chance of getting to the championship than Anthony Davis does, and that's what the Lakers are about."
Sharpe also talked about the golden years of the "Showtime Lakers," comparing them to the current roster and superstar trio. He said the Lakers need stars to win and to keep the fans entertained:
"I don't believe you can win in LA and hold this fan base with just guys. ... You can't just have guys doing 'showtime.' You needed Magic (Johnson), you needed Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), you needed (James) Worthy. ... LA is about stars."
What will the Lakers do?
While Davis just can't just stay healthy, the Lakers will probably take their chances with him. If he can appear in at least 60 games and play as well as he is capable of playing, the team can be successful.
However, the team might trade Westbrook. Westbrook has no versatility and, unlike Davis, he is a defensive liability.
James is almost certain to stay in Los Angeles, but the front office will have to do a much better job and surround him with better players. He turns 38 in December, and the window to win more rings is slowly closing.