Can Los Angeles Lakers win a title without trade upgrade?

(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The argument for making a trade

Sure, the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings. Still, the Purple and Gold have an ugly 0-5 record against the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers. Those four squads are the best defensive teams in the league, and all have a shot at a championship, even if it’s a just small chance for the Celtics and 76ers.

Even though the Lakers are 0-5 against the elite squads in the NBA, they looked mostly competitive with LeBron on the court. However, once James took a rest, everything changed, and the Lakers struggled to get even half-decent shots against the length and physicality of the Clippers, Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers.

The Lakers are overly dependent on LeBron James. By now, most fans have seen the on/off splits. When LeBron James is on the floor, the Lakers are dominant. When he sits, the Purple and Gold falter.

Anthony Davis is the rarest type of superstar, and not in a good way. He racks up points, and he’s a monster on defense, but you can’t run an offense through him.

His post-game isn’t strong enough to garner a consistent double team, and he doesn’t have the same gravity that a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo offers when he drives down the lane. AD doesn’t suck in defenses, creating open looks for the Lakers outside shooters.

During the playoffs, LeBron should play around 34 minutes per game. Those other 14 minutes when LeBron rests will be precarious. The Lakers will survive the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, the Clippers are incredibly talented.

The time LeBron spends off the floor could be the difference between beating LA’s other team and watching the finals from home. Plus, if the Lakers do manage to take down their cross-town rivals, a potential matchup with the Bucks and their number one rated defense will be lurking around the corner.

Rob Pelinka should have done whatever he could to bring in another playmaker. A player like Derrick Rose could have ensured the Lakers offense doesn’t fall off a cliff every time LeBron rests.

Instead, the Lakers management played it safe and decided not to rock the boat. They chose not to match the Clippers, who are clearly in win-now mode.

We all knew that the Lakers plan was to sign Darren Collison to help fortify the second unit. What kind of scheme was that? Collison never said that he was coming out of retirement, and now it’s official, he won’t play in the NBA this season.