Eye-opening tweet shows the biggest problem with new-age Lakers

The Lakers have one less-discussed issue that is holding them back.
Aaron Gordon, LeBron James
Aaron Gordon, LeBron James / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

In the NBA, the league and every team within it are constantly evolving. What was true yesterday is not necessarily true today, and that is as important a concept now as it ever has been. For a franchise as focused on and dedicated to winning as the Los Angeles Lakers, this lesson is one that should not be forgotten.

How is this sentiment relevant here and now, in May 2024? Probably in a multitude of ways, but the one we should focus on right now has to do with team building. In the past, management emptying their wallet to pay star players was an important aspect of building a championship team.

Now, hear me out on this. I am not saying that is no longer important. What I am saying is that this is not a concept that is perhaps so black and white as it once was. Yes, not being stingy with money and having a high payroll can lead to a deep and strong roster, but the manner in which that goal is achieved matters.

On Friday, ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks shared a tweet outlining the top 10 NBA teams according to salary from the current season. Out of the 10 highest payrolls in the league, eight have been eliminated from the playoffs (or did not make the postseason), and only two advanced to the second round of the playoffs (Boston and Denver).

The Lakers need a clear vision of what they want in their team

What this shows us is that yes, cracking open the piggy bank and getting stars to come to your city is a must, but it can not be the only factor. Look at the Phoenix Suns. New owner Mat Ishbia bought the team and immediately began loading up on win-now pieces, regardless of fit. Did that move sell tickets? Of course it did. But did it produce a basketball team that can win in the playoffs? The jury is still out there.

To make matters worse, Ishbia doubled down on his mistakes and claimed that the majority of teams around the league would want the Suns' situation, which is terribly disingenuous. Essentially, he and Phoenix have been putting on a crash course on how not to build a winning team in the NBA in 2024, and the Lakers ought to be taking notice.

Because in many ways, what LA has right now is just a slightly better version of what Phoenix has. They have a lot of disjointed pieces that do not necessarily make sense next to each other, and this roster will need an overhaul if it is to compete in the stacked Western Conference next season.

Committing over $94 million to LeBron James and Anthony Davis next season is something the Lakers will have to think hard about before agreeing to. Do they really want to shell out over $51 million to a player who clearly can no longer be the best player on a championship team at 39, going on 40 years old?

Some will look at Marks' list and say, "well, Boston and Denver are still in the top six." Of course this is true, but when you look at how those two teams built their rosters and achieved success versus how the other eight teams that have been eliminated did, there is a clear message for the championship hopefuls out there. Avoid skipping steps and do not be afraid to make hard decisions and play the long game, and you will in all likelihood be rewarded for it sooner or later.