5 Lakers Storylines to Watch This Offseason

Lakers eye fresh leadership amid pivotal offseason changes.

by Nouman Rasool
5 Lakers Storylines to Watch This Offseason
© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have initiated their offseason restructuring by parting ways with coach Darvin Ham after his two-season tenure. Ham, a former assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, faced significant challenges this past season, leading to his dismissal.

This marks the second coaching change for the Lakers in five years, following the departure of Frank Vogel, who had previously been let go by the Phoenix Suns after just one season. As the NBA 2023-24 season winds down, the spotlight intensifies on the Lakers' next moves.

Central to their offseason strategy is the decision surrounding LeBron James' future with the team. At 39, James remains a pivotal figure in the Lakers' lineup, alongside star Anthony Davis. The Lakers' management is keen on building a strong supporting cast for this duo, aiming for another championship run in the James-Davis era.

The most pressing question is whether LeBron James will don the Lakers jersey next season. Despite hints of retirement, James has not made any definitive statements about his future. Rich Paul, James' agent and the head of Klutch Sports, suggests that James is likely to return to the NBA, though it remains unclear if he will continue with the Lakers.

With a $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season, James could opt-out, adding to the speculation about his next move, including the possibility of playing alongside his son Bronny, who is eyeing the NBA Draft.

Coaching Search Intensifies

The coaching vacancy is also a critical focus, with potential candidates like former NBA player JJ Redick and established coaches Mike Budenholzer and Tyronn Lue under consideration.

The Lakers' preference for a defense-first approach may influence their final decision. Another significant decision involves D'Angelo Russell. Despite a mixed performance, Russell showed potential as a valuable asset next to James and Davis.

His ability to space the floor and his impressive 41.5% three-point shooting average are points in his favor, though the Lakers may still explore other options in their quest for a robust lineup. The concept of forming a 'Big 3' with another high-caliber player alongside James and Davis is also under scrutiny.

With high-profile players like Donovan Mitchell, Zach LaVine, and Kyrie Irving rumored to be on the Lakers' radar, management faces the challenge of balancing star power with team chemistry and fiscal responsibility. Lastly, the Lakers' draft strategy will be pivotal.

They hold several valuable picks in the upcoming drafts, which could be leveraged in trades to strengthen their roster immediately. This strategic use of draft capital will be crucial as the Lakers aim to return to their championship-winning ways.

As the offseason unfolds, these five storylines will determine the direction of one of the NBA's most storied franchises as they aim to rebuild and return to the pinnacle of NBA success.