Lakers
(Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers returned to the court Friday night  with a ton of questions as they look to play out the second half of the season. The trade deadline just passed and although names like Roy Hibbert and Lou Williams were surfacing in trade rumors, the team decided not to make any moves.

This was pretty much expected as Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers organization did not want to lose any of the salary cap flexibility that the team has going into this summer. It also must be noted here that many teams called the Lakers about trading for their youth (Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson mainly) but the Lakers were not interested.

Questions surround Coach Byron Scott and his future, and the Farewell Kobe Tour is moving along nicely but the team still needs to see exactly what they have to build with moving forward.

The Lakers sit in dead last in the Western Conference and at 11-46, only the Philadelphia 76’ers (8-47) have a worse record. The Sixers also get the Lakers first round draft selection this off-season if the Lakers do not secure a top 3 pick. There is a very good chance the Sixers will get the pick. The Ben Simmons race is on. So the more lottery balls, the better for Los Angeles.

But that doesn’t mean the team is going out to lose games and Coach Scott has said that the youth will get time from here on out, to show what they can do.

The Lakers sit all alone as the second worst team and both the Brooklyn Nets and the Phoenix Suns have at least three more wins than the Lakers. With only 25 games remaining, there is a possibility that the Lakers won’t catch either team, although the Suns have dropped eleven straight.

The Roy Hibbert experiment, so far has been a failure. The overall team defense has been a severe disappointment. The offense has looked like a playground pick up game for a good portion of the season. So how can you tell exactly what pieces you have if the system is questionable to begin with?

Lakers
(AP Photo)

Now is the time to let the dogs run free. Cut D’Angelo Russell loose and let him go. Give the young guys time and try to close the season out with something to work with going into the summer. Kobe Bryant’s contract comes off the books this summer and however you slice it, the team will have money to spend. Money that will not go overlooked by the league’s elite for long.

A young core of Clarkson, Randle, Russell, Larry Nance Jr. could very well  spark some interest in potential free agents to come to Los Angeles and build something here. Only time will tell.

That also hinges on Coach Scott and how he manages the kids minutes in what could be his last games as Lakers coach. Balancing the goodbye of Bryant and developing the youth has proved to be a very difficult task and I’m unsure if many could have pulled it off. But development of the young guys to better the team for the future is paramount and right now we are still unsure where we are in that process.

Randle truly is, by almost all definition, a rookie and his rebounding is strong. Clarkson can score. Williams can score. Nance Jr. has great upside and his activity and energy are things that cannot be taught. Outside of these facts, we don’t know what other pieces will actually help the squad get back to championship contention. (Where is Nick Young and Ryan Kelly?)

We thought by now we would have a clearer picture but the team at the start of the season, on paper, looked better. The game is not played on paper of course and the players have to produce. They have not and as much as we hate to admit it, it could all be the current system that is in place.

It’s very hard to say because Coach Scott is like the cool uncle that lets you stay up and play video games. We all love that uncle. Around Staples you hear people refer to him as Byron. Hardly ever is it Coach Scott. Unlike in San Antonio when you hear a man referenced to as Coach Popovich (sometimes ‘Pop’) but the respect is there.

Here in L.A., our time with our cool uncle may have run his course. It’s tough but it might just be time to say goodbye.

Tayrance Allen covers the Lakers/ NBA for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @Twigganomics

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/a-32.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/a-32.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Tayrance AllenAnalysisBasketballLA LakersNBANews and UpdatesPacific DivisionPhiladelphia 76ersPhoenix SunsRecent Posts#Brandon Bass,#Kobe Bryant,anthony brown,Ben Simmons,Byron Scott,coach byron scott,D'Angelo Russell,draft,jeanie buss,Jim Buss,Jordan Clarkson,Julius Randle,L.A. Lakers,LA Lakers,Lakers,lakers future,Larry Nance Jr.,Los Angeles Lakers,lottery,lottery balls,Lou Williams,Mitch Kupchak,NBA,Nick Young,pacific division,Roy Hibbert,staples center,Western ConferenceThe Los Angeles Lakers returned to the court Friday night  with a ton of questions as they look to play out the second half of the season. The trade deadline just passed and although names like Roy Hibbert and Lou Williams were surfacing in trade rumors, the team decided not...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?