It certainly has been a crazy week of NBA free agency, like always. Some teams in the league have gotten a lot better and some teams got significantly worse in this period. This is always an exciting time for the league, with all of the trade rumors going on, it may be hard to navigate which teams actually got better.
The champion Los Angeles Lakers, however, have a better roster now than they did this time last year, and that should be an extremely scary sight for the rest of the league. Today, we will break down the Lakers free agency and where they should exactly go from here.
Lets start off with who they lost out of respect for the championship roster from last year. PG Rajon Rondo signed with the Atlanta Hawks for around $9.5 million a year. He wasn’t expected to stay with the Lakers, but the Clippers were going after him, but eventually lost out to the Hawks which is a big blow for them.
They also lost center Dwight Howard to the 76ers in free agency. Yes, Dwight did tweet he was staying with the Lakers, but hours after, that did not happen. They will certainly miss his toughness in the paint and support from the bench to pump the team up. Danny Green also was traded and is now on the 76ers as well with Dwight. While these players will certainly be missed, they did indeed make up for it in free agency.
The first move the Lakers made was acquiring Dennis Schroder from the OKC Thunder. This will certainly make up for the loss of Rondo, maybe not in experience but absolutely production. He was the runner up for 6th man of the year and will probably go right into the starting role at PG for this team. He is an above-average three-point shooter and can play excellent defense as well. This should be a great fit for the team.
They also signed former Clippers center/power forward Montrezl Harrell. This may be a gut punch to the Clippers, who really relied on his hard work and defense last year. To top signing the runner-up for 6th man of the year, they got the current 6th man of the year in Harrell. This is also big because it may keep AD at the 4 position, where he is the most comfortable, which is in the best interest of the team.
They also just closed in on the signing of Marc Gasol, former NBA champion with the Toronto Raptors. He may be coming off the bench, but maybe he will get that starting 5 role, either way, this is a great pick up for the Lakers.
At the same time, they locked up KCP, Markieff Morris, and of course, are closing in on locking up AD long term. Another under the radar signing for the Lakers was Welsey Mathews, the former Buck. He adds great value to the bench depth that the Lakers just didn’t seem to have at times last year, especially in the regular season. He shoots around 36% from 3, which always helps playing alongside LeBron. This may be one of the most underrated signings of the offseason depending on what he could actually produce for the Lakers next year.
In all, it was a very successful offseason for the defending champs. They look like the odds on favorites going into the regular season and should be a problem for any team that they face.
Other teams are also getting better like the Bucks, the Nets, and somewhat the Clippers, but none of them did as much as the Lakers did, on top of addressing every issue they had on the team. This squad should put less pressure on LeBron and AD to carry them game after game like they did last year.
LeBron will be turning 36 next month, and his days of domination still seem far from over. It’s pretty amazing to think about. This may be one of the deepest rosters he’s been apart of in years, which should be a sign of amazing things to come for the Lakers franchise.