Written by: Mike Ryan
Second up is the Los Angles Lakers from the pacific division. The Lakers were in rumored discussions to acquire Paul George but the rumors stayed as such.
The Lakers ended up trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the expiring contract of Brook Lopez. Magic Johnson approach this offseason has been to free up as much cap space as possible in hopes of landing a max star in the summer of 2018.
Here’s a look on how the team is going to be shaped for next season.
PG: Lonzo Ball – Draft Pick
SG: Kentavious Caldwell – Pope – Signed as a Free Agent
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Julius Randle
C: Brook Lopez – Acquired in Trade
Lonzo Ball is the young star filled with the potential to bring the Lakers back to relevance. The second overall is tasked with rejuvenating a franchise to it’s storied history and has to do so with the pressure of the media questioning his every play due to his loud mouthed father Lavar.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was an excellent addition to this rebuilding team. A one year big pay contract is exactly what the Lakers were seeking. Caldwell -Pope can defend and shoot the three and should fit in nicely next to Lonzo Ball. Caldwell-Pope is in a prove it year type of situation.
Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle are intriguing pair of young players looking to make a jump in their careers. Both will have the opportunity and minutes to continue their development.
Brook Lopez is a veteran scorer who could be a go to option in the post and has actually developed a decent three point shooting shot this past year with the Nets.
PG/SG: Jordan Clarkson
SG: Josh Hart – Draft Pick
SG: David Nwaba
SF: Luol Deng
SF: Corey Brewer
PF: Larry Nance
PF: Kyle Kuzma – Draft Pick
C: Ivcia Zubac
C: Thomas Bryant – Draft Pick
The Lakers bench is a definite weakness and needs to be improved if they have any shot of being a competitive team this season. The Western Conference is significantly improved and the Lakers have not done much to get into a playoff race.
Clarkson highlights the bench unit and is a quality combo guard that will provide nice minutes.
Luol Deng is a shell of his former self and he is just entering his second year of a 4 year $64 million deal.
Larry Nance is a good athlete and is capable of a highlight play but you would still expect more of him. He will be entering his third season.
Kyle Kuzma is an intriguing prospect that may develop into a nice player one day.
Zubac showed promise late in the year and could become a contributor for this season with more consistent minutes.
Going to another season filled with 50 plus losses for the Lake Show. The Lakers simply do not have the talent to keep up with the rest of the improving Western Conference.
Magic Johnson will have free reign to construct his roster the way he wishes in next off-season and will be interesting to see if he can land a star free agent. The Lakers lose their first round pick if they finish between the second and fifth overall pick. They’ll need the help in free agency.
In the meantime, expect the Lakers to add a player or two fill out the bench. This upcoming year will all be about the play and development of Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. They will need to show serious promise for free agents to consider going to LA.