For fans of teams that are not participating at this point of the NBA playoffs, series like those that ended over this past weekend serve as a great tool in trying to figure out how far their team needs to go in its development to be considered legitimate contenders. Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are no different, and that’s the theme of today’s “Locked on Lakers.”
In the western conference, the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors just went through a seven-game series that may have been uglier than most would have predicted, but at the end of the day, that was the pinnacle of the NBA in 2018.
In the eastern conference, LeBron James figured out a way to outlast a Boston Celtics team en route to yet another meeting with the aforementioned Warriors in the finals despite Kevin Love’s absence in game seven and really all other variables pointing towards a Celtics win in that setting.
So, the question begs asking: Who on the Lakers could participate in either setting (let alone the one about to start with rings on the line) without looking laughable out there?
I discuss this with Pete Zayas (aka Laker Film Room). We both agree there are guys on the roster who theoretically could help either roster, but for the most part, each current Laker would need to improve in at least one facet of the game in order to fit in.
Lonzo Ball would help defensively, but would he provide enough spacing with his shooting ability to not be a net negative? That remains to be seen.
Kyle Kuzma is capable of fitting in offensively, but would his being the liability he currently is defensively hamper whichever team he’d play for in this setting to make his presence offensively worth it?
Pete and I ask those kinds of questions up and down the Lakers roster before I introduce him to my first crazy conspiracy theory since Pete and I officially partnered up.
Preview: Kevin Durant, future Laker.