It's been a tricky NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite being one of the hot favourites to win the competition before the season got underway, LeBron James & co have struggled to find any consistent form throughout the regular season so far.
It seemed impossible to think that a side containing the likes of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis wouldn't be named one of the top seeds in the Western Conference, but will the 2019 NBA Champions be heading to the NBA Playoffs this year?
Will the LA Lakers be in the NBA Playoffs?
It's official. The Los Angeles Lakers will NOT be participating in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Tuesday night's defeat to the red-hot Phoenix Suns means that, with just three games of the regular season left to play, the Los Angeles Lakers are now unable to secure themselves a place in the 2022 NBA Play-In tournament.
Despite being unthinkable at the start of the season, with a .392 win percentage, the 31-48 Los Angeles Lakers will be heading home early, watching the 2022 NBA Playoffs from the comfort of their own homes.
What's next for the Lakers?
It's going to be a busy offseason for the hierarchy at the Los Angeles Lakers, with a serious overhaul of their ageing squad required if they are to find themselves in title contention anytime soon.
The gamble to bring 2017 MVP, Russell Westbrook, to Los Angeles has failed to pay off, and it is likely that he will be traded in the offseason should the Lakers find a team to ship him off to. The long-term futures of LeBron James and Anthony Davis also remain in doubt.
The one positive of missing the playoffs is that the Lakers will be awarded a higher pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They have a slim chance of being awarded the No.1 pick too, they will learn their draft fate at the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery.