The LA Lakers didn’t exactly impress in the month of February. However, March has proven far more fruitful for the reigning NBA champions. But after getting off to a hot start in the aftermath of the All-Star break, LeBron James suffered a serious setback to his MVP-worthy season on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks.
And the latest update on their injured star doesn’t sound promising for the Lakers.
LeBron James watched his sensational week come to a crashing halt against the Hawks
LeBron James only contributed four points in his team’s 170-150 victory over Kevin Durant’s squad in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
Luckily for the Lakers, the 36-year-old quickly went back to dominating on both ends of the floor once league play resumed.
After scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 105-100 win against the Indiana Pacers, James recorded a triple-double in a lopsided victory over the Golden State Warriors. He posted another triple-double the following night in a 137-121 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And in Thursday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks, the four-time MVP scored 37 points—a mark he hit just twice in his previous 40 games.
Unfortunately for James, his sensational first week back at the office ended in painful fashion against a Hawks team that currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. LA’s biggest star sustained an ankle injury during the early part of the second quarter.
James left the game and did not return. He totaled 10 points, four rebounds, and one assist in 11 minutes of action.
The latest update on their injured star doesn’t sound promising for the Lakers
The Lakers lost LeBron James to a rare serious injury on Saturday night. Without their leader on the floor, they lost to the LA Clippers by a final score of 99-94.
After the game, the team announced James has a high-ankle sprain and will be out indefinitely. Unfortunately for LA fans, the latest update on their beloved star doesn’t sound promising.
“I’m told that the Lakers are preparing for the possibility they could be without LeBron James for three weeks, even a month,” longtime NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski told Mike Greenberg during Monday’s appearance on ESPN’s Get Up. “They’re still firming up a timeline.”
Although the future Hall of Famer has surprisingly stayed healthy despite playing such a staggering number of minutes on an annual basis, he faces somewhat of an uphill battle to get back on the court.
“James has shown in his career an incredible ability to recover quickly from injury and play through injury, but this one’s not gonna be so easy,” Wojnarowski said.
Will LA make a move to bolster its lineup?
With LeBron James facing a multi-week recovery, the Lakers now have their two biggest stars sidelined with injuries. Anthony Davis last suited up on Feb. 14 before the team had to shut him down.
LA must decide whether to invest resources to bolster its lineup. And after losing badly to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, it might not take much more convincing to spurn some action.
In fact, according to Wojnarowski, a two-time NBA All-Star remains a potential target for the Lakers. And it may not take draft picks or players to acquire him.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers buy out the final year of Andre Drummond’s deal, the Lakers reportedly will be in the mix for the center’s services.
The 27-year-old hasn’t played in more than a month. He averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 25 games before the Cavaliers elected to keep him on the bench until they find a way to unload his contract.
As a short-term rental, the 6-foot-10, 279-pound big man would give the Lakers a major boost on the glass and on the scoreboard.
It will be interesting to see how general manager Rob Pelinka approaches the next few days. With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, he doesn’t have much time left to make a deal.
But with James and Davis on the mend, the Lakers may have no choice but to pay up to fortify their depleted lineup.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.