The Los Angeles Lakers committed a $100 million dollars to payroll with the intent of winning a championship.
Jodie Meeks told Philly.com, “Back in Philly, you want to make the playoffs. Here, the playoffs are expected and so are championships.”
However, trading draft picks for starters has finally caught up with the Lakers, making the expected championship run a challenge.
The Lakers have never really gone through of the motions of drafting, developing and starting a player since Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher.
They’re always looking to score All-Stars like Dwight Howard and Steve Nash instead of analyzing the free agent market or scouting college players.
As a result, the Lakers are, in the words of Bryant, “old as s**t.”
Bryant elaborates that, “We played old, and they played with a lot of energy, a lot of youth, got up and down, and it just seemed like we were in a lower gear all night.”
Bryant’s old, Steve Blake is old, Steve Nash is old, Antawn Jamison is old, Metta World Peace is old, and Pau Gasol is old. They struggle against young teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that plays with energy.
Jordan Hill comes off the bench with energy and youth. As do Meeks and Darius Morris, both of whom are able to play against younger teams. Unfortunately, Meeks and Morris are guards so they aren’t going to get significant minutes with Bryant and Nash healthy.
Four of the Lakers five starters are older so they’re rotations are always going to be lacking energy because they’re mix is off.
And so, it’s time to explore trades and the free agency market.
A less skilled small forward or power forward wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if they came with a couple of first round draft picks.
Bryant and Nash take care of the offense, so a young, fast, skilled defender would mesh perfectly.
The Lakers have their superstars and they have the guys they’re developing. They don’t really have anything in-between.