Coming off a tumultuous 2021-2022 campaign, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to put things back together this season. Last season was plagued by injuries to key players and inconsistency from the starting lineup. The Lakers have revamped their coaching staff and roster in an effort to give an aging Lebron James another shot at a title. Here’s what we can expect from the team this season.
Los Angeles Lakers Key additions
Darvin Ham has taken over the coaching duties for the Lakers after a successful stint as assistant head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Assistant coach Phil Handy is the only remaining coach from last season’s staff. Alongside Ham and Handy, the Lakers have signed Chris Jent, Jordan Ott, and Schuyler Rimmer as assistant coaches. Roger Sancho is serving as the team’s trainer.
The Lakers traded into the draft to select G/F Max Christie with the 35th pick in the draft. There is some upside to the former Michigan State guard, with the Lakers hoping he becomes a solid 3-and-D wing in the future. Post draft, the Lakers signed Scottie Pippen Jr. of Vanderbilt and Cole Swider, a sharpshooting forward from Syracuse.
Pippen Jr. and Swider showed promise in the NBA Summer League but need further development before becoming regular contributors to the team. Swider’s size and shooting ability address a weakness at forward for the team, but his ability to guard at the pro level will determine how quickly he impacts the team.
The Los Angeles Lakers were committed to getting younger this year as they entered the free agency period with their sights set on acquiring youth without breaking the bank. The team signed Damian Jones, Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, Lonnie Walker IV, and Juan Toscano-Anderson early in free agency. Each of the players are on one-year deals that will provide the Lakers an opportunity to evaluate them before making a long-term commitment.
The Lakers also reunited with German guard Dennis Schroder, who they signed for the veteran minimum. The 29-year-old point guard is coming off a rocky season which saw him traded from the Boston Celtics to a rebuilding Houston Rockets team. After an awkward exit from LA two years ago, he will be looking to redeem himself to the Laker faithful.
Other Key Additions
The Lakers were quiet on the trading front this summer. A lot of effort was put into moving Russell Westbrook after a disappointing return home to LA last season. Ultimately, the right move didn’t present itself, and Westbrook remains with the team.
The lone trade of the off-season saw the Lakers acquire Patrick Beverly from the Utah Jazz in exchange for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson. The former Clippers defender brings valuable experience to the table for a team that is lacking in that area. He was widely respected (and hated) around the league during his tenure in LA and will be looked upon to provide similar leadership in the locker room this season.
Key Losses: Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Rajon Rondo, and Avery Bradley
Los Angeles Lakers Depth Chart
PG: Russell Westbrook-Dennis Schroder
SG: Patrick Beverly-Lonnie Walker IV-Kendrick Nunn
SF: Lebron James-Austin Reaves-Troy Brown Jr.- Max Christie
PF: Anthony Davis-Juan Toscano-Anderson-Wenyen Gabriel
C: Thomas Bryant-Damien Jones
Two Way Players: (G)Scottie Pippen Jr., (F)Cole Swider
Exhibit 10: (C)Jay Huff
Oct. 3 – 7:30PMLakers vs. Kings Los Angeles @ Crypto.com Arena
Oct. 5 – 7:00PMLakers vs. Suns Las Vegas @ T-Mobile Arena
Oct. 6 – 7:00PMLakers vs. Timberwolves Las Vegas @ T-Mobile Arena
Oct. 9 – TBDLakers at Warriors San Francisco @ Chase Center
Oct. 12 – 7:00PMLakers vs. Timberwolves Los Angeles @ Crypto.com Arena
Oct. 14 – 7:00PMLakers at Kings Sacramento @ Golden 1 Center
Los Angeles Lakers Season Outlook
It can’t get much worse than last year’s debacle. The franchise has a lot of work to do in order to rebuild its image in Los Angeles. The good news is they have a healthy Anthony Davis and Lebron James to lead the charge in the right direction. The Lakers have a good mix of young talent and veterans on their roster that should help lead the team to some success this year. However, they have a glaring lack of wing depth and capable shooters. There is hope within the franchise that defense and spreading the floor will improve the team’s shooting percentages. This team will be interesting to watch as they can be both a playoff team and a potential disaster.
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