LeBron James signing with the Lakers was meant to make them a title contender for years, but his window with Anthony Davis may be ending sooner rather than later.
The Lakers won the NBA championship last year in Anthony Davis’ first year with the Lakers, but a repeat bid was not in their destiny.
The Lakers were decimated by injuries this year. LeBron suffered an ankle sprain that took him out for the longest time in his entire NBA career, and a groin injury to Anthony Davis in the playoffs kept him out of crucial games.
As a result, the Lakers were bounced in the first round at the hands of Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns in a disappointing manner. The hope is that they’ll rebound this year, but their title window may be closing according to some Lakers officials.
Report: Lakers officials worried LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ window may be shorter than originally anticipated https://t.co/6XG57nkn3b
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 28, 2021
LeBron James And Anthony Davis Face Pressure To Win Soon
Nothing is certain in the NBA. You could be winning a title one year and then get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the next year.
The Lakers found this out the hard way. Health was their biggest concern this year over roster issues or something deeper, but it just goes to show how quickly things can fall apart even for the greatest players and teams.
LeBron still turned in an impressive season, averaging 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 boards per game last year, but he was definitely a tad slower and less dominant than he had been in the past, especially after coming back from his ankle injury.
The Lakers star is 36 years old and isn’t getting younger any time soon. Of course, LeBron is built to last at a high level in the NBA for some time, but he too will eventually fall to Father Time. That’s why Lakers officials feel pressure to win quickly, taking advantage of LeBron and AD’s performances while they’re still incredible together.
As per Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“The injuries to James and Davis last season were an unwelcome reminder of that much, leading some Lakers officials to worry that this window might be even shorter than they’d originally hoped. As such, they’re in the process of turning over all the proverbial stones in search of the right piece(s) to return to the NBA’s mountaintop. Their time is now, in other words — again.”
As a result, the Lakers may be aggressive in the offseason, pushing for a third star like Damian Lillard or Russell Westbrook, both who satisfy the short-term goals of winning and the long-term goal of staying competitive after LeBron retires at some point.
The Russell Westbrook-Lakers trade rumor is all sorts of interesting https://t.co/aHzVys2Jha
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) July 21, 2021
Report: Lakers among Damian Lillard’s preferred trade destinations https://t.co/CxrWgGw3Fj
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) July 16, 2021