As the Lakers were awaiting word on Kawhi Leonard last Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN dropped a bombshell when he announced that Leonard would be signing with the Clippers.
When the news hit, the Lakers knew they had to start signing players since they were on hold to make any moves until after Leonard made his decision. The Lakers have their core pieces in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma but acted quickly and signed some quality players. The first player the Lakers wanted to ink was Danny Green, who just came off a championship with now former teammate Kawhi Leonard. Green is known for his shooting and defense. He’s also a seasoned veteran who could make an impact immediately. Green signed a 2-yr/$30M deal. Some other new players the Lakers inked were Quinn Cook, DeMarcus Cousins, and Troy Daniels. Role players Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo will also return to the team. Avery Bradley has also joined the Lakers recently and his defense will be much needed.
The Lakers definitely learned from their mistakes last season when they tried to surround LeBron James with a bunch of playmakers, which didn’t really work out. This time around, the Lakers have surrounded James with shooters. The team is definitely much deeper than they were last season. Of course, health will play a big factor like it did last season. The amount of injuries the Lakers accumulated this past season did them in and they ended up missing the playoffs. They’re going to have to gel quickly since the Western Conference has got stronger. Teams like the Jazz, Clippers, Warriors, Blazers, and Nuggets significantly got better and they’re going to be tough competition. It’s too early to tell where the Lakers will land in the Western Conference, but if I had to make a guess I’d say the very least a top 5 team with a healthy squad.