LA’s newest assets in the NBA


Photo courtesy of ESPN

With the summer league coming to a close and many superstars going into free agency, both Los Angeles NBA teams added  four all-stars: Anthony Davis, from the Pelicans by trade, and DeMarcus Cousins, from the Warriors via free-agency, are now Lakers; Raptors Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, a free agent, and Paul George, in a trade with the Thunder, are now  Clippers.

Not only will Laker LeBron James have more options on the offensive side, but both Cousins and Davis are known for their defensive capabilities as well. Since the Lakers have so much talent on the frontcourt with Davis, James, Cousins and Kyle Kuzma, they decided to move James to the point position, where he will run the offense and defend players who are smaller than he is. 

Though James is no stranger to bringing the ball up the court, moving him to point will put more stress on the defensive side because the players he is guarding are usually faster than the small forwards he is used to guarding. James’ adjustment will determine whether or not the Lakers will bring home a ring. The Lakers also changed their coaching staff, replacing coach Luke Walton with coach Frank Vogel, who led the Pacers in 2011-2016, where he accumulated  the most wins in Pacers franchise history. Not only will they have Vogel, but the Lakers also hired former Bucks coach Jason Kidd and former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollis to assist Vogel.

This LA team is not the only team the league will have to worry about. The Clippers will also have new faces to guarantee a playoff spot. With Leonard, George and Montrezl Harrell in the frontcourt and Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet in the backcourt, the Clippers’ defense will definitely be the league’s best. Not only is Leonard recognized for his hustle and defensive plays, but  he can score difficult shots, as seen in his playoff run with the Raptors. George was also a member of the NBA first team defense in the 2019 season. With these two new additions to the Clippers, the team has the keys to a spot in the 2020 NBA finals. 

However, since both of these LA teams are in the Western Conference, only one will have a spot in the finals, and I believe that the Lakers will come out on top. Yes, Leonard did take the Raptors home with a trophy and ring, but the Lakers still have an edge.. James, one of the  all-time greats, has the leadership needed to bring this super team all the way to the finals, while Leonard has often been seen as a quiet guy, unable to boost the team’s morale with his words in serious situations.

Also, the duo Davis and Cousins will be hard for the Clippers to stop because they have a great small-ball lineup but not the best regular lineup. Ivica Zubac alone can’t stop both of these monsters.

The new additions  to these LA teams certainly look amazing on paper, but they have yet to play a game together. These two playoff contending teams will represent LA basketball and definitely will not disappoint.