The purple and yellow confetti fell onto the court in the NBA Bubble last season as the Los Angeles Lakers captured their 17th championship in NBA history, winning the 2020 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. After the NBA’s resumption of play in the Orlando Bubble last season, it seemed destined that the Lakers would win the championship and they did so, winning in honor of the late-great Kobe Bryant, who tragically lost his life back in January of 2020 during the 2019-20 season.
Los Angeles celebrated their championship in a brief offseason, but their thoughts quickly turned to the potential of winning back-to-back titles and GM Rob Pelinka was very busy prior to the start of the 2020-21 season in terms of adding more talent around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers added Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell to their roster in free agency, as well as other key guys in Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews in hopes to contend for yet another title. Things were going great for the Lakers until both Anthony Davis (calf) and LeBron James (ankle) went down with injuries that kept them out for two months and one month respectively.
At the trade deadline, L.A. did not make any trades, even though there were talks of them potentially adding Kyle Lowry to their roster, but they did however add Andre Drummond and Ben McLemore to their roster after they were bought out of their contracts.
Given the Lakers struggled without their two star players for the majority of the season, Los Angeles found themselves as the 7-seed in the Western Conference and they had to earn their spot in the playoffs, defeating the Golden State Warriors in a play-in game. Against the Phoenix Suns in the first-round, the Lakers dropped game one, but took control of the series by winning the next two games.
Everything seemed to be going in favor of the purple and gold, but then Anthony Davis injured his groin in Game 4 of this series, resulting in him missing Game 5 and then exiting Game 6 of this series after not being able to play after 5 minutes on the floor. The Lakers went on to lose the series 4-2 to the Suns, thus ending their season and any chance of a “two-peat.”
Now, there are a lot of questions for the Lakers to answer in the offseason and while they are absolutely a championship contender with both LeBron and AD healthy, the rest of this roster has some holes to be filled. Almost the entire 2020-21 Lakers’ roster will be/can become free agents this offseason, which is why Rob Pelinka and this entire L.A. front-office will be extremely busy.
Ever since they were able to get LeBron James to sign with them in 2018, the Los Angeles Lakers have been aggressive in their search for talent to go “ring hunting” with James, but with all of the talent in the Western Conference now, the Lakers championship window may be getting smaller.
LeBron James is not getting any younger, as he is now 36-years-old, and with Anthony Davis never really being 100% healthy this year, there are definitely some concerns heading into next season about if this Lakers team can still play at a high-level like they did during the course of the 2019-20 season.
If there is one thing we know, it is that a LeBron James led team is always going to be in the championship conversation and given how aggressive Rob Pelinka has been over the years, we can expect plenty of moves to be made in the offseason by the Lakers in efforts to make themselves even better than they have been over the years.
The offseason may have come quicker than many Lakers fans and their players would have liked, but given all of their injuries and not having any rest over the last two years, getting this extra month and a half of rest could be the best thing to happen to L.A. With all of this said, let’s dive in and take a look at what the Lakers could have planned this offseason besides kicking back and relaxing by the pool.