With the trade of Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a round pick, the Lakers’ rebuild is looking a lot like Boston’s rebuild under Brad Stevens.
Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics had one of the fastest and most successful turnarounds in basketball history. After hitting the reset the button 4 years ago, the Celtics are coming off a season in which they won 53 games and find themselves legitimate title contender this year.
The Celtics finished 25-57 in Stevens first year (2013-2014), with a roster that featured Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green as their best players. Last year, under first year coach Luke Walton, the Lakers finished at a striking similar record of 26-56.
The following year the Celtics finished 40-42 and lost to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference first round (swept 4-0). At the All-Star Break, the Celtics found themselves at 20-31 and acquired Isaiah Thomas (who came off the bench) at the trade deadline. After the All-Star break the Celtics finished 20-11 winning their last 8 out of 10 to finish the season at 40-42.
This year the Lakers find themselves at 22-31 with 4 games left till the All-Star Game. Coincidentally enough, the Lakers just acquired Isaiah Thomas at the deadline. Although IT may not be the same player and the Lakers may not reach that 40 win threshold they are slowly making progress.
In the summer of 2015-2016 the Celtics were able to sign Al Horford and came damn near close to signing Kevin Durant. After missing out on Durant, the Celtics were able to sign Gordon Hayward to a max contract the following summer and trade for Kyrie Irving.
As everyone knows, the Lakers now have space for two max players this summer.
Magic and Pelinka have already stated that they’re looking both 2018 and 2019 in terms of free agents. Hopefully, the Lakers are able to sign at least one start player this summer and if not can wait til the 2019 summer headlined by players like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler.
Stay patient Laker fans, our time is coming.