The 2021-22 season did not go the Los Angeles Lakers' way. From the get-go, their new core of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook didn't pan out as expected, resulting in a very disappointing season. The Lakers finished with a final record of 33-49, good for 11th in the Western Conference. As a result, not only did Los Angeles miss the playoffs, they didn't even get a chance to qualify for them in the Play-In Tournament.
Bayless doesn't sound too optimistic for the Lakers' upcoming campaign
Despite the Lakers' struggles last season, not much has changed on their roster heading into the 2022-23 season. Their rotation has a new look, but their core trio of James, Davis, and Westbrook remains intact, despite the Lakers' desire to trade Westbrook throughout the offseason. Whether that will lead to more wins this season remains to be seen.
Of course, Los Angeles also got a new head coach in Darvin Ham this offseason, and there's hope that he will be able to make Los Angeles a winner this season. Skip Bayless of Fox Sports doesn't seem too optimistic on the Lakers' odds of improving this season, though, and offered a flaming hot take right ahead of the season. Bayless believes that if the Lakers win more than 50 games this season, Ham will be a shoo-in for the NBA's Coach of the Year award that gets handed out at the end of each season.
Bayless has a bit of a point here
Bayless goes overboard by labeling that achievement worthy of Coach of the Decade, which isn't an actual award. But the initial take isn't as outrageous as it seems, and Bayless may actually have a point here.
On the one hand, it's tough to see a team led by at least James and Davis struggle for two straight seasons. The star duo dealt with injuries for the entire season and could never get on the court at the same time as each other for extended periods.
But on the other hand, the Lakers don't look to be vastly improved from last season. This is also Ham's first head-coaching gig in the NBA. If he somehow manages to turn the Lakers from a 33-win team that missed the playoffs to a 50-win team that comes in atop the Western Conference, it would be tough to see anyone else beating him out for the award.
Bayless loves throwing random takes at the wall and seeing what sticks, but it looks like he may be onto something with this take. There are a lot of holes on the Lakers roster that they are hoping Ham can fix. If he leads his new team to 50 wins, it will be tough to ignore the fact that Ham would be responsible for solving L.A.'s various problems, which would at least make him a frontrunner for the Coach of the Year award.