After a long offseason filled with trade rumors and roster turnover, the Los Angeles Lakers are finally ready to take the court for what they hope will be a season of redemption.
Last year, they missed the play-in tournament due to key injuries and bad roster construction despite being picked by many to reach the NBA Finals or even win the world championship.
They had a very old roster last year. This year, they’re much younger and much deeper.
But as always, the Lakers will be led by their familiar superstar duo.
Oct. 14, 2022; Sacramento, California; Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James (6) looks towards the bench between plays against the Sacramento Kings during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
James is entering his 20th season, and apparently, he is showing no signs of slowing down.
This is expected to be a banner year for him, as he could pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading regular season scorer, as well as Magic Johnson on the all-time assists list.
April 5, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
When Davis is healthy, he is widely considered one of the 5 or 10 best players in the game. But the million dollar question is whether he will remain relatively healthy and be available for at least 65-70 games this season.
Oct. 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) makes a pass as he is defended by Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) and forward Trey Lyles (41) in the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Westbrook was made the scapegoat for all that went wrong with the Lakers last season. By all accounts, he is onboard with what new head coach Darvin Ham wants him to do, but old habits are hard to break.
Oct. 5, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers guard Patrick Beverley (21) reacts after a play during a preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Beverley is expected to supply the Lakers with intense perimeter defense, accurate 3-point shooting, leadership and feistiness — qualities they lacked last season.
Feb. 7, 2022; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against Chicago Bulls forward Troy Brown Jr. (7) during the first half at United Center. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Brown is a 23-year-old, 6-foot-6 small forward who has shown potential of being a decent 3-point shooter and perimeter defender.
Oct. 12, 2022; Los Angeles, California; Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) shoots the ball while Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant (31) defends during the second quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, the Lakers’ center rotation was frightfully weak. Bryant’s ability to protect the rim, rebound, score inside and even hit 3-pointers could greatly fortify it.
Oct. 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell (0) reaches in on Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie (10) during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
A second-round draft pick out of Michigan State University, this rookie has shown nice effort defensively and on the boards. The key to his NBA future will be how much he develops a reliable perimeter jumper.
Oct. 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles Lakers forward Wenyen Gabriel (35) dunks over Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis (3) in the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
A young, energetic and hard-working 6-foot-9 forward, Gabriel projects to be the Lakers’ main backup at the 4 spot.
Sept. 26, 2022; El Segundo, California; Los Angeles Lakers center Damian Jones (30) reacts during Lakers Media Day at UCLA Health Training Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Along with Bryant, Jones makes up what looks like a much-improved center rotation for L.A. The 6-foot-11 27-year-old can block shots, throw down lob passes and run the floor well.
Oct. 12, 2022; Los Angeles, California; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn (12) dribbles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (5) during the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Nunn didn’t play last season because of a bone bruise in his knee. His ability to score efficiently from all three levels, as well as handle the ball and break down defenses in transition, will give the Lakers a huge boost.
Oct. 5, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) dribbles ahead of Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
During the preseason, Reaves, who was an undrafted rookie last year, showed greater poise as a facilitator and even an occasional scoring threat. The big keys for him will be how reliable a perimeter shooter he is, as well as how much his defense has improved.
July 11, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Boston Celtics forward Matt Ryan (37) shoots between Milwaukee Bucks forward MarJon Beauchamp (0) and Milwaukee Bucks guard Rayjon Tucker (59) during an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavilion. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan was a member of the Boston Celtics’ summer league squad a few months ago, but the Lakers picked him up prior to training camp. He made the roster thanks to his ability to hit 3-pointers, a quality the team badly needs.
Feb. 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) controls the ball in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Schroder is back with the Lakers after playing for them during the 2020-21 campaign. He will give them another ball-handling guard who can distribute and get his teammates easy shots, as well as score when needed.
Oct. 5, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) shoots against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Toscano-Anderson comes to the Lakers after spending last season with the world-champion Golden State Warriors. His ability to hit 3-pointers, defend and move the ball could spark L.A.’s bench.
Oct. 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonnie Walker IV (4) dribbles away from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Walker is a 6-foot-4 guard who is explosive and has shown some ability to attack the rim and hit from the outside. Offensive efficiency and defensive consistency will be the keys for him.
Oct. 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers guard Scotty Pippen Jr. (14) dribbles against the Minnesota Timberwolves during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
The son of the Hall of Famer who won six rings with Michael Jordan on the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, Pippen has shown improved poise, playmaking ability and ball security the more he has taken the court ever since the start of summer league play.
Oct. 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles Lakers forward Cole Swider (20) shoots against Minnesota Timberwolves guard CJ Elleby (22) during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
If he shows the type of consistent shooting stroke he displayed during summer league play, Swider can carve out a spot in Ham’s rotation this season.
Sign up for the LeBron Wire newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning
Sign up for our newsletter and get every update delivered to your inbox!
Please re-enter your email address.
You'll now receive the top LeBron Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.
© Copyright LeBron Wire 2022
Powered by WordPress.com VIP
Please enter an email address.
Thanks for signing up.
Please check your email for a confirmation.
Something went wrong.