After making the biggest splash of the off-season in landing LeBron James, the Lakers made some surprising moves to surround James. One of those moves was signing Lance Stephenson to a 1-yr, $4.5M deal. Stephenson, who’s been the nemisis of James over the years brings some toughness to the team. It was one of the most surprising moves so far, but can be a benefit to the Lakers now that they have a guy who won’t back down from anyone. The Lakers also landed recent NBA champion, JaVale McGee to a 1-yr, veterans minimum deal. McGee didn’t play a whole lot for the Warriors, but can contribute as a good backup center with some defense and rebounding when needed. Also his leadership in the locker room and playoff experience can help the young guys on the team. The veteran center averaged 5.5 ppg, and 2.9 rpg last season with Golden State. Also worth noting, the Lakers retained the services of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a 1-yr, $12M deal. Last season, Caldwell-Pope made his mark as a good 3-pt shooter with the Lakers, and can also play solid defense.
Free agent Lance Stephenson has agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell ESPN.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 2, 2018
Last but not least, the Lakers picked up Rajon Rondo with a 1-yr, $9M deal. Rondo was instrumental in the Pelicans playoff run just this past season and can help the Lakers. He has a very high IQ, and he’s a point guard with a lot of experience and can defend well. With the Lakers getting Rondo, this could put some pressure on Lonzo Ball who was injured most of last season. While the Lakers got good defensively with their recent acquisitions, they are still lacking in outside shooting. Although they did draft some good shooters from the perimeter in Moe Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk, they are just rookies and are not ready to be in the spotlight quite yet.
Source: Rajon Rondo agrees to deal with Lakers.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
The Lakers lost Julius Randle after renouncing him, making him an unrestricted free agent. After the Rondo signing, Randle chose to head to New Orleans and sign with the Pelicans for 2-yrs, $18M. Randle was exceptional for the Lakers and really elevated his game during the second half of the season. They will miss his strength and toughness in the paint. The talks between the Spurs and Lakers have significantly died down as far as a trade for Kawhi Leonard is concerned. The Spurs are asking the Lakers for a lot and the Lakers don’t want to give up too much of their assets. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Lakers are done dealing, but with these current moves, the team will definitely have one of the most odd personalities with these recent acquisitions in the locker room.