Los Angeles Lakers

How should Lakers build their roster? Worthy offers opinion

May 27

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't have the season they anticipated — and they certainly didn't have the caliber of season they paid for.

Their 33-49 finish was good enough for fourth in the Pacific Division and 11th in the Western Conference. Their superstars — LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook — struggled to mesh.

In addition, L.A. dealt with injuries all season and couldn't seem to find a rhythm.

James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game but missed 26 games. Westbrook was present for 78 of the Lakers' 82 games, but averaged his lowest point per game total since his second season back in 2009-10, at 18.5 PPG. Anthony Davis only played 40 games — less than half the season — averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

The three could seemingly never catch each other on the court at the same time, only playing 21 games together as a trio, going 11-10.

And with that, former Laker great James Worthy had a message for the franchise as it moves forward: start building through the draft.

"The Lakers, I think they have refused to build over the years," Worthy on the "Stoney & Jansen Show." "We've had some good players: Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Lonzo Ball. We have tried to win quickly. In Kobe Bryant's last few years, we brought in Steve Nash, who was a little bit older, and Dwight Howard came in with a back injury. We traded away draft picks to try to win immediately, and I think they're going to have to think about how they need to build."

In order to acquire Davis back in 2019, the Lakers traded away Ball, Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.

In order to acquire Westbrook last summer, the Lakers gave up Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and more.

Worthy continued his analysis of L.A.

"You look at Memphis, you look at the way Boston is playing right now, you look at the way Milwaukee has built a team over time. We need to create players that have cohesiveness. We had it a couple of years ago, and we traded it all away to try to win, to try to match what Brooklyn was doing and what other teams were doing with their ‘Big 3’ players. I think that's going to go away. That's an illusion, having the ‘Big 3.’ You see what happened in Brooklyn. You see what happened with the Lakers. 

"Even though everyone experienced injuries, you still should be playing better, and you should be in the playoffs."

Colin Cowherd gave his thoughts on Worthy's comments on Friday, saying that building from the ground up has never been the mode of operation in Tinseltown.

How should the Lakers build their roster?

Colin Cowherd weighs in on James Worthy's comments criticizing the Lakers’ roster, saying, "The Lakers lean into Los Angeles, and they should."

"L.A. is not Milwaukee, and frankly, it's not Boston. Star athletes love playing in Los Angeles. They don't want to play in Boston. The Lakers have proven they attract superstars. They have three now if you count Westbrook. If you have an advantage in sports or life — you're tall, you're funny, you're strong — use it."

For Cowherd, the Lakers' advantage is geographical.

"Perfect weather and the biggest economy by a mile when it comes to America. We have a massive economy. When stars come here, their endorsements double. Their net worth doubles. The opportunities double. LeBron played in this league forever. He came to Los Angeles, and two years later, his net worth doubled. It's just the reality of California."

Is Worthy's word worthy of consideration?

That's for the current Laker regime to decide.


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