NBA Rumors: Predicting offseason blueprints for Lakers, Pelicans, and Suns

NBA Playoff Upsets: Major Stars Out Early and Offseason Outlook for Lakers, Suns, Pelicans
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Yong Teck Lim/GettyImages
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NBA Rumors: Predicting offseason plans for the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns after they were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Some big names and franchises have already been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. The list includes names such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, and Zion Williamson. That's a lot of star power being lost in the first round. The Lakers, Pelicans, and Suns are officially in offseason mode.

To be fair, these three teams had flaws throughout the regular season. Each team was the higher seed, meaning they had a worse record than their adversary. The Lakers and Suns had rocky starts to begin the season, but played well towards the end, igniting hopes for deep playoff runs. The Pelicans fought through the play-in tournament, but no one realistically felt that the Pels, especially sans Zion Williamson, would be competitive against the West's best team, the OKC Thunder.

All three teams have unique offseason question marks and difficult decisions to make. Regardless, things aren't working as is and there needs to be some changes in order for progress to be made. With that, let's take a look at the blueprint for the eliminated teams going into the offseason.

Los Angeles Lakers

Blueprint for the Lakeshow - tweak then peak, baby

  • Add veteran depth pieces that actually fit into the roster construction
  • Add an offensive playmaker who can make life easier for Bron and AD
  • Find and develop quality young talent through the draft/free agency/undrafted free agents

We start with the Los Angeles Lakers. They come first alphabetically, but also they are the team with the biggest question marks. Will LeBron James pick up his player option and return? Is Darvin Ham going to be the coach next year? It will be tough to tell what the Lakers plan to do without having any indication of either decision, but we are going to move forward under the impression LeBron James and Ham will return.

There is a severe talent fall-off after James and Davis. Reaves is a nice piece but he is no All-Star. D'Angelo Russell has a player option, but his departure wouldn't impact the team all that negatively. So what direction should the Lakers go in? It's pretty simple, but I think the Lakers stay on course. I think they have an outside shot at DeMar DeRozan via free agency and this team has enough assets to make a pretty big splash in the trade market.

I expect the Lakers to add veteran scoring depth off the bench while simultaneously making a move for a third star to pair with Bron and AD. Trae Young could be an interesting piece for the Lakers. The asking price for Young has nosedived in recent months, which could make this a very plausible move. It may not be a move for Trae, but expect the Lakers to bring in a big name via trade to help run the offense.

The Pelicans have the draft rights to the Lakers first-round pick this year, but they have the option to defer it to next season. So the Lakers may get their first this year, but will definitely have the Clippers' second-round pick. Recently, the Lakers have been very good at finding and developing young talent and they will need to continue to do so to prevent perpetual rebuilds in the near future.