Clippers' playoff woes may lead to dream Lakers' offseason

Everything could be coming together for the Lakers' dream offseason.
Los Angeles Lakers, Rob Pelinka
Los Angeles Lakers, Rob Pelinka / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are still recovering from their disappointing first-round playoff exit. LeBron James was non-committal about his future, and head coach Darvin Ham is on the hot seat. The franchise must upgrade its talent and could be searching for a new head coach in the coming weeks. There is no shortage of options, but the Lakers are still hoping one name becomes available.

The reality got a bit closer on Wednesday night as the Clippers were dominated by the Mavericks in Game 5 at Arena. LA’s offense was stuck in the mud as Paul George and James Harden both struggled in the pivotal contest. Dallas heads home for Game 6 with a chance to close out the series on Friday night, and the Clippers will remain without Kawhi Leonard.

It has been a disappointing five years since Kawhi and PG joined forces in LA. The Clippers expected to be annual title contenders, but have won just three playoff series and rarely felt like a legit threat. They cannot keep running it back, which could open the door for the Lakers' dream offseason.

Clippers flameout could make Tyronn Lue available

In his four seasons as head coach, the Clippers have won 57.9 percent of their regular season games, despite continually dealing with injury issues, but Lue only advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs once. They reached the conference finals in his inaugural season and have quickly flamed out ever since.

The former Lakers point guard may take the blame for the Clippers' struggles, but it is not deserving. Lue is one of the best coaches in the world. He led the Cavaliers to a championship in 2016 and three straight NBA Finals but was fired after LeBron’s departure.

Lue is known for his Xs and Os and his ability to think outside the box on matchups and game plans. The Lakers desperately needed that this season as Ham struggled with his rotations and feel for the game.

Acquiring Tyronn Lue should keep LeBron James on the Lakers

LeBron’s affinity for Lue is no secret. They spent three years together in Cleveland and the only team capable of beating them was the Warriors with Kevin Durant. James developed a close relationship with the head coach, and Lue would likely have been the Lakers head coach in 2022, but the organization was not willing to pay him a premium salary.

Their brass cannot make the same mistake twice. The Clippers should keep Tyronn Lue. He is one of the best coaches in the world, but if they decide to move, the Lakers should be waiting with a massive offer. Lue’s acumen could get the franchise back in title contention and ensure LeBron finishes his playing career as a Laker.

If the Los Angeles Lakers get Lue and a three-year commitment from James it will be a successful offseason. The front office could take the summer to dream level by adding another marquee piece to their roster. It is easier said than done, but do not be surprised to see LA get active and aggressive this summer. Now is the time as LeBron approaches his 40th birthday.