The Lakers are 6.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference standings, and they appear to be throwing in the towel on the 2019 season.
LeBron James will enter into a "cool-down" period over the remaining 17 games of the season, Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported Thursday.
What does that mean, exactly?
"Now that the Lakers are almost out of playoff contention," Haynes said on The Spin, "There was a conversation between LeBron James' trainer and the front office, and they came to the conclusion that, moving forward, LeBron James will play with a minutes restriction of 28 to 32 minutes. And possibly, on back-to-backs, depending on how LeBron James feels, that he might sit out one of those back-to-backs."
LeBron has played in the last eight NBA Finals, but this year, barring a miracle, he won't even play in the postseason.
With the games meaning nothing, the Lakers will want to limit the miles on LeBron’s body. The 34-year-old has three years left on his contract with the Lakers.
"I won't necessarily be a shutdown for LeBron, but a cool-down for LeBron," Haynes said.
The Lakers have one game remaining with both the Warriors and the Kings. The game against the Warriors comes on the front end of a back-to-back with the Clippers on April 4 and April 5, so LeBron could sit out one of those games.
It's a disappointing end to the season for LeBron. He was supposed to return the Lakers to their glory days. Instead, he will most likely watch the postseason from home.