If the NBA market is generally sluggish due to each other’s summer holidays, the Lakers continue to work hard to return to the fore after their pathetic 2021-2022 season. Unfortunately, a purple and gold track has officially fallen through.
Will the Lakers be contenders again next spring? At present, and despite a workforce with a few high-sounding names, the answer seems to be “no”. Blocked by the 47 million dollars of Russell Westbrook, the Angelinos have an ultra-limited room for maneuver to improve their roster. For this reason, the few signatures made so far are certainly relevant, but low cost (Thomas Bryant, Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown…).
If it will be difficult to make the roster competitive enough to exist in the jungle of the West, GM Rob Pelinka has another lever, easier to handle: the staff. Exit Frank Vogel, who paid the price for the disaster first, and welcome to Darvin Ham, who will have the heavy task of straightening these Lakers.
A prestigious recruit will not come after all
Alongside the new leader, the name of Rasheed Wallace has long been mentioned. In fact, it was almost almost confirmed a few weeks ago that the “Sheed” would take his place on the bench alongside Darvin Ham, whom he knows particularly well, to bring his experience and toughness to the locker room. But according to the latest information from Shams Charania, this track has been officially closed:
After further talks, former All-Star Rasheed Wallace will ultimately not join Darvin Ham’s coaching staff, sources say. Last season, Wallace was Penny Hardaway’s assistant at the University of Memphis.
Just a few days ago, Ham announced “ongoing discussions” to bring in the former Pistons player, and a new foot call had been made. In vain.
What ruined the deal? At this precise moment, no one knows. Several Internet users point to an inflammatory statement by Wallace towards LeBron James last fall. In an interview, the big man had indeed estimated that the King “would not be as dominant if he had played at another time”. Words which, we can imagine, must have only moderately pleased the native of Akron and his susceptibility…
Still, Lakers fans can only deplore this aborted signing. Among the many lessons to be learned from the 2021-2022 season, that of a lack of unity, leadership and ethics in the locker room was one of the most glaring. Sheed would have clearly helped in this direction, especially since the former Detroit is a figure respected by his peers.
There will be no Rasheed Wallace at the Lakers, although everything seemed to predestine us there. It remains to know the reason for this reversal of the situation…