The LA Lakers need a player who could replace LeBron James in the lineup after the latter suffered a grave foot injury.
Apparently, the Lakers were on a set path after back-to-back thumping wins post the All-Star break. As the season entered its final stretch, the Lakers, 13th in the West, decided to make a final push to the playoff. Further, the intent was widely visible in the Lakers’ recent game against the Dallas Mavericks. They bounced back in the second half after 27 point trial.
However, not all good came from that matchup. During the game, Lakers superstar, LeBron James, tripped and fell on the court. He immediately held his foot and said he heard a pop. However, LeBron continued playing despite being in pain and took the team to the finish line. Subsequently, the injury worsened, and LeBron Jame is likely to sit out for at least 2-3 weeks. With so close to the playoff, the Lakers desperately need LeBron’s replacement.
Here’s The One Replacement Of LeBron James The Lakers Could Target
One player who could fit that bill is Juancho Hernangomez, a 27-year-old power forward who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors. The 6 foot 9 holds a shooting average of 25.4 from the deep. However, the forward has been waived by the Raptors and is one of the best picks available in the free-agent market. While he is an inconsistent player overall, but still could prove to be a good pick, at least for the current season.
Another reason why Hernangomez could be a good fit for the Lakers is his age and potential. At just 27 years old, he still has plenty of room to grow and develop as a player. The Lakers have already signed loads of young blood this trade season. Hence, signing another for the short term wouldn’t hurt anyone. If given a proper opportunity to contribute to a contending team like the Lakers, Hernangomez could continue to develop and become an even more valuable player.
LeBron Out For Multiple Weeks, What’s Next For Lakers?
LeBron James’ foot injury has dented the Lakers’ playoff qualification chances. Up until now, the lineup looked strong with the new additions. However, now, it’s time for those new faces to step up. D’Angelo Russell’s injury remains a point of concern, but Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and Mo Bamba are the guys who need to take the lead.
While Jarred and Malik showed impressive performances in their debut games, the other new faces need to step up as well. Furthermore, the Lakers’ front office should also consider giving Mo Bamba some game time. Overall, the road to the payoff for the Lakers has gotten even more tedious post LeBron’s injury. However, the hope’s still intact. The team already missed the playoff last season. Hence, they would certainly not want to face another heartbreak for the second consecutive career.