LeBron James Sounds Off on Lakers Rotations Amid Playoff Push

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

It’s been a long, stressful season for the Los Angeles Lakers. A season that truly began over the summer when the team was deciding whether or not they wanted to trade Russell Westbrook. Ultimately, the front office decided to keep him around, and since then, the team has performed about as well as many assumed.

They are currently muddling around the 13th seed in the Western Conference with a 19-23 record. However, the Lakers have won five of their last seven games, and it looks as though they could make a push for the playoffs. After a recent brutal loss to the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James expressed a sense of trust in his teammates that he hadn’t shown for most of the season.

“It’s not about trust, because we have trust with whoever is on the floor,” James said. “But at the end of the day, teams have closing lineups. And we got so many guys that are in and out of the lineup, and right now, we got a lot of guys that are banged up. So, it’s almost like, who is in a good rhythm that night is going to be probably on the floor along with myself and Russ.”

LeBron James Postgame Interview | Los Angeles Lakers lose to Dallas Mavericks 119-115LeBron James Postgame Interview | Los Angeles Lakers lose to Dallas Mavericks 119-1152023-01-13T06:47:38Z

In the loss to Dallas, James put up some impressive numbers, dropping 24 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. Meanwhile, Westbrook had 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Despite their showings, Luka Doncic was still able to lead the Mavericks to a double-overtime win.

Against the Mavericks, James and Westbrook ended the game with Dennis Schroder, Troy Brown Jr., and Wenyen Gabriel. The latter of the three put up one of his best games of the season, dropping 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. In turn, he got the chance to finish the game with LA. That’s the sort of flexibility James is talking about.

Lakers Looking to Add Big Man to Roster

While the Lakers may have a bunch of players capable of finishing games out with James and Westbrook, they are also looking to make additions. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, the Lakers have worked out free-agent big men Meyers Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins.

Head coach Darvin Ham revealed that the workouts went well and that the Lakers are just exploring their options.

“They both looked great,” Ham said after practice on Saturday. “Whether or not we’re able to do something with them is a different story. But we’re constantly trying to kick the tires on different scenarios.”

Bojan Bogdanovic Would Be Perfect Trade Piece

In addition to looking at potential buyout options, the Lakers should also be active on the trade market. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, LA should look to target Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic in a trade.

“Bogdanovic is the perfect fit for this team, but the Lakers shouldn’t get off the phone with the Pistons just yet,” Swartz wrote. “Landing Burks and Noel, two proven veterans with various skill sets, would make L.A. a better defensive team and deeper overall. Bogdanovic is a tough, playoff-tested forward who’s connecting on 45.9 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes this season, per NBA.com, en route to his 21.0 points per game. Burks is also shooting the lights out this season, making a career-high 43.8 percent of his overall threes while chipping in 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists off the bench. Noel is a versatile defender and talented rim protector who would give the Lakers frontcourt more depth behind Davis.”

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