Insider predicts LeBron, Lakers miss playoffs

LeBron James has made it to eight straight Finals -- all as a member of teams in the Eastern Conference.

Many have questioned LeBron James’ move to the Los Angeles Lakers after the superstar signed a four-year free-agent deal with Los Angeles.

The roster appears nowhere near ready to compete for a championship in the rugged Western Conference and the Lakers might even struggle to make the playoffs, considering James is surrounded by a lot of young players and guys who may not really fit well next to him.

Yahoo Sports insider Chris Mannix believes the Lakers will miss the postseason altogether in 2018-19.

“It’s the island of misfit toys out there, and LeBron James,” said Mannix on the NBC Sports Boston podcast. “You have to assume it’s 48 wins to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference. I don’t see that team making up that difference.”

After James signed, the Lakers added Rajon RondoLance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley. Rondo and Stephenson aren’t good jump shooters, a trait players often need when playing next to James because he’s a great passer and collapses the paint on his drives to the basket. It’s probably fair to say there won’t be much floor spacing for the Lakers when Rondo, Stephenson and James are playing together.

If the Lakers do miss the playoffs, it will be James’ first missed postseason since the 2004-05 season, when his Cleveland Cavaliers fell short despite James averaging more than 27 points per game as a 20-year-old.

Also, James turns 34 in December. How many more years does he have left of being the best player on the planet? He’s played in eight straight Finals, and while he’s built like Superman, the wear and tear of all those games may eventually catch up to James.

The Golden State Warriors are favored to win their third straight championship in 2018-19, which would give Stephen Curry his fourth ring and Kevin Durant his third. With James taking his talents to the West, there’s a chance he might not play in a Finals ever again.

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