The Los Angeles Lakers are having a season to forget as they are staring down the barrel again with the team set to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. They have won just one of their 10 games in March and are now 11th in the Western Conference with a 31-40 record.

The Lakers would have been certainly expecting to contend for a playoff place this season, especially after they added LeBron James — the league’s best player — on a four-year deal last summer. He had made eight straight NBA finals and 13 straight playoff appearances until he landed in Los Angeles.

Luke Walton’s team did look like contenders in December when they had moved up to fourth place with an impressive win over reigning champions Golden State Warriors, but an injury to James in the same game put a massive dent in their hopes. He missed 18 games and their 6-12 run during that period saw them drop to 10th place.

The three-time NBA champion’s return to the lineup has not done much to change their fortunes as they continue to struggle to string together consistent performances. The Lakers' management — president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka — are certain to be working overtime on identifying reinforcements.

However, they could be heading into a problem, with the Athletic’s Bill Oram reporting that many NBA insiders were of the opinion that all the big free agents would skip the Lakers and look to sign with other franchises. That will be bad news for the Lakers, who have $38 million in cap space to sign one big free agent.

Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors reacts after missing a foul shot against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 3, 2019. Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

The likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton, and Kemba Walker will all enter free agency in 2019. If none of them decide to head to Los Angeles, then the Lakers will be putting all their eggs in the Anthony Davis basket — as he is the only top player available via a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Lakers would not be able to sustain yet another season without bringing in another star player to run with James and they are certain to be regretting not making a concrete offer for Leonard in the summer before he was traded to the Toronto Raptors by San Antonio Spurs. They were also snubbed by Paul George, who everyone expected to join the Lakers, but instead, he chose to sign a long-term deal with Oklahoma City Thunder.