I am not sure I have ever seen a team with two top 10 players (LeBron, AD) with such a pathetic roster around them.
It amazes me that LeBron would hand-over his future, his remaining elite NBA years, to a team this dysfunctional / badly run.
Yeah, this is why I'm not assuming that those 2027 and 2029 draft picks will be late firsts. The team really has been run incompetently. The argument that things have been run well during the Jeanie Buss years doesn't make sense to me. They took a team that won a title, and have followed that up with about the two worst off-seasons possible. And people forget, but they dodged a bullet when Dennis Schroder turned down an $80+ million contract that the team offered.
The Lakers won a title in 2019-20 with James and Davis and not much else. The big difference was that they played 67 nd 62 games respectively. The problems since then are more about the durability of James and Davis than it is about the talent around them or the coach (although all are factors of course).
If they can keep James and Davis on the court (something that probably isn't going to happen), even with Westbrook and whatever as the supporting cast, I think they are going to be better than a lot of people expect. I don't see them winning a title again as there are several tough teams in the West now but I think they can be good. LAL made a big bet on James staying healthy so we shall see.
I agree that any team with two top-10 players is formidable, no matter how crappy the rest of the roster is.
But, that's different than suggesting that current management is competent. They've been about as poor as possible in terms of surrounding Lebron and Davis with talent.
In 2020, their supporting cast was: KCP, Kuzma, Bradley, Green, Howard, Rondo, McGee, THT, Caruso and Morris
In 2021, it was Schroder, Harrell, Kuzma, Drummond, KCP, THT, Caruso, Gasol, Matthews, McLemore, Morris
That's arguably an upgrade in talent, although chemistry and health were problems.
In 2022, they had: Westbrook, Monk, Carmelo, Reaves, Ellington, Bazemore, D12, THT, Nunn and later Jordan, Augustin
That was an abject failure, showing no sense of appreciation for depth, chemistry or fit.
This year, they're rolling out: Westbrook, THT, Nunn, Bryant, Reaves and a whole bunch of mediocre-to-bad players.
It's just an absolutely garbage roster outside of Lebron and AD. I'm not sure how anybody can look at the past two off-seasons and feel confident about Lakers management. And that's without getting into the what ifs regarding Derozan wanting to be there and them passing on him; choosing Westbrook over Hield; management offering Schroder $80 million, etc.