Los Angeles Lakers New Roster: A Fresh Start for the NBA Giants
The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most iconic teams in the NBA, have undergone significant changes in their roster for the upcoming season. With the end of the NBA free agency, the Lakers have made their major moves, setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting season ahead.
With a rich history and multiple championships under their belt, the Lakers have always been a team to watch. Their decisions during the free agency period are a testament to their commitment to excellence and their desire to bring another championship to Los Angeles.
The Lakers’ management, led by Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka, has showcased their expertise by strategically keeping their core players while making significant changes around the margins. If you remember, during the last minute of the previous season’s trade deadline, he made the crucial decision of signing in players like D’ Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt. These players gave a huge boost to the team and helped them reach the conference finals Even tho they loss to the current NBA champion Denver Nuggets, it’s still a great achievement coming from a 2-10 NBA starting season record.
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As one of the most trusted names in basketball, the Lakers’ decisions are always made with the best interests of the team and its fans in mind.
Key Changes in the Los Angeles Lakers New Roster:
Players Lost in Free Agency:
- Dennis Schröder
- Lonnie Walker
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Wenyen Gabriel
- Malik Beasley
- Mo Bamba
- Tristan Thompson
- Shaquille Harrison
Players Signed in Free Agency:
- Taurean Prince
- Gabe Vincent
- Jaxson Hayes
- Cam Reddish
The New Full Lakers Roster:
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
- D’Angelo Russell
- Rui Hachimura
- Austin Reaves
- Gabe Vincent
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- Taurean Prince
- Jaxson Hayes
- Cam Reddish
- Max Christie
- Jalen Hood-Schifino
- Maxwell Lewis
- Alex Fudge (two-way)
- Colin Castleton (two-way)
- D’Moi Hodge (two-way)
The Lakers currently have two open roster spots, with all three of their two-way roster spots filled. It’s expected that they will leave one roster spot open as they head into the season.
In my opinion, there is a lot to like about this current group, and with one of their main issues having been three-point shooting before adding Christian Wood, they have even fewer weaknesses now than before. However, let’s not act like they are perfect. I mean, no team ever is, but they definitely do have a few question marks, and you can even argue that they may have created a few more of them by adding Christian Wood. But with everything in mind here, we are going to break down the Los Angeles Lakers new roster. We’ll be going through every position on their team, and their outlook for offense and defense.
Lakers’ Dynamic Point Guards
Let’s take a look at their point guard position, which could very well be their deepest one. Not only do they have primary point guards with D, Lo, Vincent, and Hood Scaffino, but they also have a combo guard with Austin Reeves and then a legitimate point forward with LeBron James, giving them plenty of options to utilize that point guard. And we watched that happen throughout last season with them, too.
Within one single game alone, they could run three or four different guys at point guard. One play might be D Low, another play could be with Reeves, and then the late fourth quarter will typically be with LeBron. And that can tend to be incredibly beneficial when they deal with injuries, which is pretty common nowadays for a guy like LeBron, unfortunately. Hopefully, they’ll avoid that happening again, but they’ll be prepared either way.
Again, not only do they have D’Lo and Reeves, but they were able to pick up another quality combo guard with Gabe Vincent, and big emphasis on combo guard here as that could apply to all three of them. And when you’re playing with a ball-dominant guy like LeBron, you need to be able to play at either guard position and to be able to knock down the three, because if you can’t, you will tend to get played off the court. But between these three, I believe they have found three guys who can play both with and without LeBron on the court and that will be incredibly valuable to their rotation. But speaking of Gabe Vincent, I absolutely love what he’ll offer them from a defensive standpoint. He will likely be their “Dennis Shroder” replacement for point-of-attack defense, which Darvin Ham love as we saw in the last season.
Sharpshooting Guards Lighting Up the Court
Moving on to shooting guard and for the first time in a long time, it is not an overcrowded position within their rotation, and even more importantly, it’s finally not an undersized one either, although it definitely will be an open competition behind Austin Reeves.
I for one believe that Max Christie happens to be the current frontrunner for it, but he will face competition from Cam Reddish, and even with Gabe Vincent during certain lineup combinations, it’s definitely their most youthful position as well. Not a single shooting guard or combo guard is over the age of 27 on their team, and that should theoretically provide them with tons of energy off the bench.
Versatile Small Forwards of the Lakers
Moving on to small forward, and while there is a lot of debate about who should start here for them, they have plenty of guys who can simply play here. Now, you can go on debating about the starting lineup if you want to, but the guys who would likely play here the most are Vanderbilt, Prince, and LeBron, all of whom can play at power forward as well.
Another guy who might be in the mix here could be Cam Reddish, but he will once again have to fight his way into their rotation with it, likely requiring an injury for him to get there. But getting back to their main small-forward rotation, I really like the addition of Taurean Prince. He might not be the lockdown defender that Jared Vanderbilt is, but he definitely is more of a three and D option.
And with neither Vanderbilt nor Hachimura being true three and D options, Prince will provide that for them, which could potentially make him a matchup-dependent option for both their starting lineup and closing lineup as well.
Power Forwards: The Backbone of the Lakers
Moving on to Power forward, and given that the majority of their small forwards can play here as well, it could very well be the second-deepest spot on their team. And I know a lot of people tend to be mad about this for whatever reason, but it’s primarily where LeBron plays at full-time nowadays. He’s no longer mobile enough to defend a majority of small forwards, and then they don’t want him taking on a tough defensive matchup anyway. And the matchup part could be said for Rui Hachimura here as well.
Despite him being a pretty good post defender, Rui is not a great perimeter defender, which often requires them to play him and LeBron separately depending on their matchups. But another guy that could potentially spend time here happens to be Anthony Davis. It will, of course, be matchup-dependent, but Christian Wood’s three-point shooting ability will make it possible in certain matchups, and I think it’ll be really interesting to watch how they utilize that. I mean, Rob Palinka mentioned that they plan to at least try Anthony Davis at power forward again, and the new additions of Hayes and Wood can make that a possibility.
I know I’m kind of talking about their center position here, but in today’s NBA, everything kind of gets mixed together, and that’s what will be happening with their team as well, after all, they have a number of guys who can play at multiple different positions, with that being particularly true for their forwards.
And now with the addition of Christian Wood, I think you can argue that their frontcourt is pretty much complete. They have a three-point shooting option with Wood himself, a defensive-minded backup with Hayes, and a small ball option with Hachimura. And then they obviously have Anthony Davis, who can pretty much do everything on the court besides provide reliable three-point shooting. Christian Wood may have instantly become the best three-point shooter within their frontcourt. Taurean Prince will give him competition if you consider him a front-court player, and then Hachimura might take a step as well.
On the other hand, though, he will bring with him a few issues, one of which is defense. He is not a good rim protector, nor is he a very switchable defender either, making it difficult to play him alone at center or even with somebody else at power forward. And then another issue with their team, even apart from Wood, is that they don’t have very many Big Three and D wings, at the moment the only guy who would qualify for that is Taurean Prince, with all three of Vanderbilt, Hachimura, and even LeBron falling short of that on either offense or defense.
Even with that being said, though, there’s really not a whole lot you can find to complain about here. And in my opinion, the pros definitely outweigh the cons with their current group, and I am really looking forward to watching them in action.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ new roster showcases a blend of experienced players and young talent. With the changes made during the free agency, the team looks poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming NBA season. Fans and basketball enthusiasts are eagerly waiting to see how this new-look Lakers team performs on the court.
What do you guys think? How do you feel about the team that the Lakers have put together here? Comment your insights down below!
Source: Silver Screen and Roll
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