Some Lakers fans are excited, while some remain cautious about their expectations. And those being cautious have every right to be so.
After landing Russell Westbrook via a blockbuster trade, the Los Angeles Lakers brought back Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard. Ariza won a championship with the Lakers in 2009, while Howard did it in 2020. Then, the Lakers also signed Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore.
And just when we thought that getting Russell Westbrook was the biggest deal of the 2021 offseason, the Lakers went furthermore by signing Carmelo Anthony to play alongside LeBron James. Then, they added Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk before re-signing Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Lakers are reportedly still chasing a trade with the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield.
On paper, this Lakers team has veteran experience and talent. Sure, most of the veterans are in their 30s. Sure, having too many stars could bring up problems such as their respective egos and chemistry. Is it too much?
It depends on how you look at things.
If you’re a team whose three-point shooting was problematic last season, having the likes of Anthony, Monk, Bazemore, and Wellington will address the problem. All four players shot above 40% from the three-point line during the 2020-2021 season. If they can make it rain from deep, the paint will be open for the team’s inside monsters.
Meanwhile, Kendrick Nunn averaged 14 points per game last season. He also shot 48% from the field, including 38% from the three-point line and 93% from the free-throw line.
The return of Howard and Ariza brings in more championship experience to the table.
Is it too much?
If you’re on the defensive end and you have Westbrook, James, and Anthony Davis coming at you on the fastbreak, it’s too much. Then again, we need to see them play together with the rest of the new guys.
Will the Lakers Take the 2022 Championship?
Winning the 2022 NBA championship will be the ultimate proof that these signings have paid off for the Lakers. The question is: Can they achieve that goal?
It depends on two things: health and chemistry.
Anthony Davis missed a big chunk of last season due to injuries. So did LeBron James. The good news is: if either of these stars goes down with injuries next season, the new guys can pick up the slack and hold down the fort. While the Lakers will have seven players aged 32 and older by the upcoming season, they will be fine as long as they remain healthy in the critical stretch, especially in the playoffs.
While the quartet of James, Davis, Westbrook, and Anthony are known scorers, chemistry isn’t an issue most pundits believe the Lakers will face with the armada of players they signed. They agreed to play for the Lakers because they want to win a championship. Even before the Russell Westbrook deal, reports circulated that Westbrook, Davis, and James talked about setting their egos aside to work together.
If things work out, the Lakers could hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy next year.