The Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled to find their footing through more than the first quarter of the season. LeBron James remains the central piece despite his struggles to stay on the court. All that has led the discussion toward the Lakers being potentially interested in acquiring disgruntled Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner.
Lakers are struggling to find consistency
After a busy offseason, the Lakers entered the 2021-22 campaign well aware that a challenging transition laid ahead.
Los Angeles has stumbled through the first 27 games, sitting in the sixth overall spot in the Western Conference standings behind a 14-13 record. The team’s struggles stem from the lack of true cohesion, while injuries have played a significant part.
Their lackluster effort defensively has seen them become one of the bottom-tier teams on that end of the floor. The Lakers rank 28th, allowing 112.1 points per contest and the fourth-most rebounds per game (47.2). All those factors spell the recipe for a continued struggle to find consistent footing.
As the Lakers remain amid a tough bind, it’s led to trade chatter to creep into the discussion. It’s pushed the dialogue toward potentially acquiring an unhappy big man.
Lakers’ shortcomings may push the front office to acquire a disgruntled star big man
The Lakers’ troublesome start has generated plenty of outside doubt.
It’s also sprouted chatter that Los Angeles may need to explore the market to acquire additional help. Indiana Pacers reporter Scott Agness of The Athletic recently stated on a podcast that the Lakers have reached out regarding big man Myles Turner’s availability.
“I’ve heard there’s been some talks with the Lakers, previously Charlotte checked in several times,” Pacers insider Scott Agness said via Lakers Daily.
It’s no secret that Turner is growing up happy due to Indiana potentially embracing a rebuilding approach. The 25-year-old wants to play for a team that will compete for the playoffs and much more. Turner is amid another productive campaign as he’s averaging 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds on 53.1% shooting from the floor and 39.8% from 3-point range while leading the league with 2.7 blocks.
The Texas product is one of the league’s best rim protectors. His addition to Los Angeles would allow Davis to slide over to the power forward position, where he’s proven to be more comfortable. However, the question becomes what can the Lakers offer that will intrigue the Pacers.
Los Angeles is limited in what it can offer but does possess a plethora of one-year contracts that will create salary-cap space next summer. The Lakers will have to wait until Dec. 15, when players signed last offseason would become available to move.
Beyond that, it’s clear that Los Angeles is looking for any way to get the franchise toward competing for an NBA title.
Los Angeles needs a collective effort beyond LeBron James to vie for an NBA title
Although adding a frontcourt talent such as Turner would provide a substantial boost, the Lakers need much more than that.
Los Angeles has become quite dependent on LeBron James to lead the charge. The team has struggled when James has missed time, as Anthony Davis hasn’t taken the next step toward leading the franchise forward.
Meanwhile, the Lakers need Russell Westbrook to provide consistent production as the third scoring option. Westbrook recently showed improved play, but his scoring has dipped in the first four games in December. He’s averaging 12.8 points on 48.8% shooting but remains a highly effective player with 8.5 assists per contest.
It’s a collective effort that the Lakers need if they hope to vie for an NBA title.