Despite what some say, the Los Angeles Lakers are still a professional basketball team.
Yes, they’ve been out all postseason after wrapping up one of their worst years in history, and, yes, they’ve consistently played like garbage all year, but they’re very much part of the NBA and have some of the biggest names in the game.
However, an NBA writer points out what could have been.
Ben Stinar points out that just a few summers ago the Lakers had D’Angelo Russel (now Minnesota Timberwolves), Brandon Ingram (currently playing for the New Orleans Pelicans), Julius Randle (of the New York Knicks), and Jordan Clarkson (from Utah Jazz).
The team also had a second overall pick in the draft, which could have netted them Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.
It’s a dream team full of potential since all these players are doing an incredible job in their respective teams.
But is it really fair to blame LA for missing those opportunities?
What could have been
It’s true that the Lakers employed some of the best young players in the NBA – just a few years before they really hit their peaks.
Of course, LA should have kept Russell, Ingram and the rest of those players.
But it’s important to remember that the league moves fast and most teams’ goal is to win as soon as possible.
When the team made the trades that sent those players and those draft picks back, they were doing it because they were following the most realistic path to victory.
Remember, they traded those guys before they were the players they are today.
These are undoubtedly huge missed opportunities and it hurts to see LA miss multiple opportunities for greatness.
But, at the time, these professions made a little more sense.