The Los Angeles Lakers have officially been booted out of the 2021-22 NBA playoffs following their loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, 121-110. Hence, the blame game has started as the purple and gold try to figure out what went wrong.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and head coach Frank Vogel have all been singled out for the Lakers’ disastrous season. However, top management has not been spared from the decisions they made last offseason.

There will be a lot of soul-searching once the Lakers officially end their season. But it appears that Los Angeles will be sitting out most of its stars, a clear indication of waving the white flag of surrender.

In a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, James, Davis and Westbrook will not see action in their next game against the Golden State Warriors. LA has three games left, including a home game where they will host the Denver Nuggets.

After that, the Lakers will be once again in the spotlight with most waiting to see which heads will roll. At the top of the list is Vogel. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will also be in the hot seat for the decisions made on the franchise.

As far as the players, Westbrook is apparently on his way out after a miserable stint with the Lakers. James still has a contract that will keep him in Los Angeles for one more season while Davis will be entering only the third year of his deal with the purple and gold.

Davis can opt for early termination of his contract only by 2024.

With Westbrook out, the Lakers could go player hunting once more. But with most of the money invested in James and Davis, such won’t be easy.

It is a mess the Lakers have to figure out and unless some financial restructuring happens, it may take some time before the Lakers can get out of the deep hole that they have placed themselves in.

Dwight Howard #39, LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3, and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard #39, LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3, and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Jared C. Tilton

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