Before the upcoming NBA season, Magic Johnson said that if he didn’t change the Lakers’ losing culture in two summers, he would resign. With the addition of NBA superstar Lebron James in the off-season, Johnson’s job is no longer on the line.
Along with James, the Lakers have added notable veterans Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and Javale McGee to their roster. This year, the Lakers have a strong young core of players including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and rookies Moritz Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The new lineup definitely has a chance at becoming a championship winning team, or at least making it to the Western Conference semifinals.
The Lakers have given the King an opportunity to lead a young team to perhaps yet another ring. Although he is near the end of his career, last season was arguably one of his best years, averaging 27.5 points per game. If James continues to stay motivated, Lakers fans will be in for a treat.
Accompanying James is point-guard Rajon Rondo, with unbelievable court vision and high basketball IQ. With a 25 assist game last season— the only player to do so since 1996—he is undeniably one of the best passers in the league. He is an ideal player in the Lakers rotation, focusing more on setting up key carry players like James to score rather than scoring himself.
Another big man the Lakers obtained is Javale McGee, a previous Warrior. Although he logged only a couple minutes per game, we believe that the Lakers will utilize this seven-footer on most nights during the season. His defensive ability and dominance in the paint will help the Lakers tremendously against other centers in the league.
As for the younger players, the Lakers have Brandon Ingram as a starter at the three position. Ever since Ingram joined the team, he has been a valuable player with a dominant play-making ability and finish. His physical transformation over the summer only adds to the fact that he is ready to work hard and go far in this league. Averaging nine points in his rookie season and 16 points in his second season, there is no doubt that he will play even better this season— helping the Lakers in their playoff run.
To round up the already stacked team is newly drafted Moritz Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Both rookies definitely have the skills to compete. Both players have offensive firepower, with Mykhailiuk averaging 44.4 percent shooting from behind the arc during his time in Kansas and Wagner averaging a 54.7 percent field goal percentage during his senior year at Michigan.
The big question is Lonzo Ball. Despite being a bad shooter, he is a decent rebounder and passer. If Ball cleans up his jump shot and confidence in time for the season, he will become a dangerous threat alongside James.
Also, Ball must remain healthy through the year. As seen last year, he wasn’t able to play in all of the Lakers’ scheduled games.
The Lakers have, arguably, crafted one of the better rosters in the league over the summer. Though the team will need some time to build chemistry, the line-up seems very promising and will be able to compete as a top contender in the NBA playoffs.