The Los Angeles Lakers and their fans continue to watch as their chances to reach the playoffs fade away. While the team is just 4.5 games out of contention as of this report, they're fighting an uphill battle with 19 games to go. With that in mind, the Lakers organization already has plans in mind for once the season ends. Unless there is some sort of miraculous turnaround, it appears their head coach will be on the way out, and Anthony Davis will be a continued trade pursuit.

Lakers will 'almost certainly' fire Walton

Luke Walton hasn't been the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers all that long. That said, he was the beneficiary of receiving the gift of LeBron James this season. That brings the expectation of faster results, coach included. Unfortunately, a LeBron injury cost the superstar 17 games and cost the team their footing within the Western Conference standings.

Since LeBron's return, the team has been outside of the top eight teams in the West and unable to gain much ground.

LeBron recently said he activated his playoff intensity mode earlier. That hasn't equated to victories. Losses to teams nowhere near the NBA playoff picture aren't helping sell Luke Walton as a capable coach.

In a recent New York Times report, Marc Stein indicates that "The prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season." While some Lakers fans, including Snoop Dogg in a recent rant, feel that Walton needs to go now, it's too soon, or perhaps, too late, for that move.

Walton will be part of the reset that comes once the season is over for this struggling team.

It will be an odd sight for fans if LeBron James isn't in the NBA Playoffs. While this Lakers team would have no business of being considered contenders, they could add intrigue to matchups with some of the West's best. However, that intrigue seems to have been sucked out of the equation due to their recent lackluster performance.

So it won't be any surprise when the season ends if Luke Walton is on his way out in lieu of a change in the team's coaching structure.

Lakers to continue going after Davis

Part of the Lakers' struggles has been attributed to how they pursued Anthony Davis before the NBA trade deadline. In the reported Lakers' final offer for Davis, they had a good number of players involved in the deal. Not long after those headlines, LeBron was part of one of the worst losses in his career.

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It was believed that with so many Lakers players seeing their name in the headlines, their mental states were impacted in a "Why bother playing for this team?" sort of way.

While Jeanie Buss recently said the media was putting out "fake news" involving the Lakers' pursuit of Davis, not many people are buying that story. It's quite possibly a smokescreen to try to keep the players' mindstates intact for a playoff push.

Especially for those who saw their names involved in a potential deal.

That said, there are continued talks about this Lakers team adding at least one more NBA All-Star to help LeBron try to take down the mighty Golden State Warriors. There are a number of free agents who will be available for signing this summer. In addition, the LA Lakers can still try to figure out a trade offer to get Davis from the Pelicans. It could even involve another team brought into the mix to help give New Orleans just what they want.

The goal is to give LeBron and the Lakers fans what they want too. A return to the playoffs after a five-year drought is certainly at the top of that list.

Still, with 19 games to go, and some tough competition on the schedule, that may be asking too much right now.

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