The Los Angeles Lakers clearly didn’t have the season they expected. With the signing of the NBA’s most formidable athlete in the offseason, they were expected to go deep into the playoffs, however, it didn’t go so smoothly for the Lakeshow.

A 37-45 record left the Lakers at 10th seed in the Western Conference as the season came to an end. This left the franchise frustrated, pointing fingers and looking for answers. The duration of time missed for the team’s stars such as former MVP LeBron James, Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo due to injury, was a big reason for this as well as obvious problems in the front office which led to the firing of coach Luke Walton and departure of president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson.

And as the season came to a close, they seemed to slowly give up, resting their players for the final few games and focusing on the upcoming draft and free agency.

The Draft

While they didn’t end the regular season on a high note, the Los Angeles Lakers struck a gold mine when they launched from their expected positioning in the draft at 11th place all the way down to the fourth overall pick. With this luck, Los Angeles can now set their eyes on adding a very talented young prospect to the squad next season or even using the pick as leverage for a trade that might include the Pelicans disgruntled superstar, Anthony Davis.

With the New Orleans Pelicans capturing the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, it seems almost set in stone that Duke’s prodigy Zion Williamson will be on his way there, while Ja Morant and RJ Barrett are heavily predicted to go to the next two teams (Memphis and New York).

This leaves the Lakers with the next pick, and a number of young players with huge potentials to choose from, names like Coby White, DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Jarret Culver come to mind.

Free agency and trades

However, whether the Los Angeles Lakers decide to trade their pick for prime talent, or use it on a young star, they will still have just over $32 million in cap room over the summer to sign one or two big name players.

The 2019 free agency period will be one of the biggest ever, with players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler able to opt out of their contracts and become free agents. And there is almost no doubt that LA will organize meetings in hopes of acquiring at least one of these guys, but there is a backup plan for the Lakeshow if they cannot get their hands on a couple of the bigger names.

With many changes in the franchise, recently, it’s clear the Lakers have no fear when it comes to throwing trades out there, and there has been a report from Sporting News’ Sean Deveney that LA will pursue a trade for a low budget shooting guard in Bradley Beal, and maybe even the Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. The expectation is that if the Raptors fall out of the playoffs, Kawhi will likely move out of the country, leaving Kyle stranded and open for a trade. Meanwhile, Washington already expressed their desire to trade anyone and everyone on their team, and what better option for LA than a superstar guard that will come at a cheaper price than he is worth.