Warriors Owner Takes Veiled Shot at Lakers’ Front Office

joe lacob

Getty Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob with Kevin Durant.

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t exactly everybody’s favorite team. The team has a massive fan base but those outside of it really love to hate on them. This season gave haters of the team a lot of ammo to work with.

After being among the preseason favorites to win the championship, the Lakers put together a nightmare season that ended with them missing the playoffs. A big talking point for the team in the offseason was how old the roster was. Los Angeles’ average age of 30.0 was easily the oldest in the NBA. It was clearly a mistake for the Lakers to bet on aging veterans as the team couldn’t stay healthy.

The Golden State Warriors were the sixth-oldest team in the NBA with an average age of 27.7. While they do have plenty of older veterans, the front office has done a good job of also filling the roster with young talent – something the Lakers don’t have right now. The Warriors are in the playoffs right now and have a real shot at winning a championship. The Lakers played a role in keeping Golden State out of the playoffs last season when LeBron James hit a game-winning shot over Steph Curry during the play-in tournament. The two teams have no reason to like each other. Warriors owner Joe Lacob recently took a shot at the Lakers and how they decided to construct their roster.

“There are a couple teams, I’m not going to say who, there’s some other teams that went all-in on older players. And older players do get injured,” Lacob told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “That’s the thing you have to remember. Suppose we had made a trade, traded away all our youth, for I don’t know, you name the guy, and they’re injured, out for the year. Anytime you’re over 30, 32, 35, these people get injured. It’s data.

“Having a Jordan Poole emerge at 22 and a [Jonathan] Kuminga, who obviously is incredibly talented, isn’t playing so much so far yet in this series, but I think he will have his role … and [James] Wiseman coming back next year, [Moses] Moody … I just think we’re set up for the future. And yet we’re really good now.”

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Lacob Is Correct About Roster Construction

As far as NBA owners go, Lacob is certainly among the most outspoken. While his comments might add to the Lakers rivalry, he brings up a great point that general manager Rob Pelinka should keep in mind. There’s nothing wrong with having older veterans on a team but it’s also important to have plenty of young talent.

The Lakers’ future is grim once LeBron retires. The Warriors obviously want Curry to play forever but they should still be competitive when he calls it a quits. It’s no secret that LeBron likes to play with veterans but sometimes those younger pieces are necessary for winning a championship. Young players like Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma may not have put up big numbers during their times with the Lakers but the team doesn’t win the 2020 championship without their contributions.

Lakers roster a 'hard thing to reshape' – Ramona Shelburne | NBA TodayRamona Shelburne joins Malika Andrews on NBA Today to discuss how the Los Angeles Lakers could look to reshape their roster for next season. ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+: plus.espn.com/ 📱Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn 🏀 Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/2yxs3Og ☑️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ☑️Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: es.pn/YouTubeTV2022-04-11T19:52:18Z

Lakers May Need to Rely on Older Veterans Again

While it sounds great for the Lakers to start going after young players, things aren’t that simple. The team has limited money to work with and it’s going to be a lot less appealing playing for them after this disastrous season. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they may need to rely on older players once again next season.

Now, Pelinka should be smarter with how he constructs the roster. The Lakers were foolish to believe that a 36-year-old Trevor Ariza was going to be an impact player. The team should keep young guys like Austin Reaves and Stanely Johnson while also trying to find a few other young pieces. What the Lakers need more than anything is young, athletic players who are willing defenders. That’s not always easy to find on the cheap so Pelinka has to be creative this offseason.

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