As crazy as it still sounds, the Los Angeles Lakers are out of the playoffs after losing their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns.
Even if the Lakers were the lower seed, they were still heavily favored to win against the 2nd seed; it wasn’t meant to be as Anthony Davis’ injury proved to be the turning point in the series.
LeBron gave it his all, but he could not do it alone and ultimately had to bow out in the first round for the first time in his 18-year career.
Now that the Lakers are officially in the offseason, what are some things the 2020 champs should prioritize this offseason?
Get Rest and Get Healthy
This is 100% the top priority of the team. The Lakers did not achieve their full potential this year, largely due to the injury woes all year long.
The team’s two stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, also had their share of injuries, with AD getting injured once more in the postseason, which just spelled doom for the defending champs.
The team had a very short offseason from last year’s bubble to this season, explaining the fatigue. But this offseason, the team and its players should maximize all the time they have to rest up and get back to 100% to prepare for the gruesome battle, which will be the 2022 season.
Hopefully, LeBron, AD, and the rest of the Lakers can all come back healthy, and more importantly, stay healthy to be title contenders once again next season.
Target Key Free Agents or Make Some Trades
As to every offseason, the free-agent market will be one of the highlights. Every team wants a fair chance at improving their team by signing some new players.
Some notable free agents this offseason would be Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley, or even Chris Paul, who could give the Lakers more reliable ball handlers to put some pressure off LeBron. They could also target some big men like Jarrett Allen or John Collins, who could add some rim protection and rebound for the Purple & Gold. Shooters and wings could also be interesting additions, with DeMar DeRozan, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Norman Powell all being free agents this summer.
Aside from free agents, the Lakers could also make blockbuster trades just like they traded for Anthony Davis two years ago. One thing can be certain; the Lakers will not just sit and wait to make things fall in place. They will work hard to make some roster moves to strengthen the team after a rather disappointing 2021 season.
Build Chemistry Early
With the injuries, covid protocols, and late player additions in the season, the Lakers could never really have their full team playing together as much as they would want, and they could not build that chemistry they needed to gel as a team. Building chemistry early would be important to help the Lakers in their season for 2022, so they don’t have to pressure themselves to come together late in the season.
Hopefully, they get more time to play together and figure things out as a team much earlier in the year so that when the playoffs come, they would all be ready to go.
The Lakers may not be able to go back to back this year, but Lakers fans will surely support their team no matter what.
The only thing left to do now is getting the work in during the offseason look forward to next season!
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