When the Los Angeles Lakers make their first appearance at FedExForum in Memphis to face the Grizzlies, there will be a ton of new faces in the purple and gold. How does Memphis attack a very balanced Lakers unit?
Who is out?
Head Coach Luke Walton (Sacramento), Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram all headed to New Orleans to join the Pelicans.
Who is in?
The Lakers acquired six time NBA All-Star Anthony Davis via trade from New Orleans. Pairing Davis next to arguably the best player in the world in LeBron James makes Los Angeles instant title contenders. Davis even waived is four million trade kicker, and James gave Davis the number 23 for the 2020-21 season. Surrounding Davis and James with players that could help them get through games would be key, and the Lakers did their job of that.
Los Angeles added four time NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins in free agency on a one year, 3.5 million dollar contract to bring more muscle to the paint. Cousins and Davis recently played together in New Orleans during the 2017-18 season.
Along with Davis and Cousins, the Lakers added two time NBA Champion Danny Green on a two year, $30 million contract. Green will most likely be their ‘wing and D’ guy on the perimeter. Los Angeles would then add former Memphis Grizzly Avery Bradley to backup Green on the perimeter. Bradley signed a two year $9.7 million contract. Bradley will bring the fire off the Lakers bench behind Green.
The Lakers also brought in veteran sharpshooter Troy Daniels on a one year two million dollar salary. The six year veteran Daniels is looking for a fresh start, after getting opportunities in Memphis, and Phoenix with the Suns. Daniels is a career 40 percent shooter from beyond the arch.
Projected Starting Five:
Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins.
Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, Quin Cook, and Troy Daniels.
The Lakers finished last season 10th in the Western Conference (37-45), and becoming one of the biggest comedic front office shows in the NBA. Flash forward a few months later, and Los Angeles have had a good offseason. Despite striking out on Kawhi Leonard - the Lakers are instant NBA Title contenders. A team that won only 37 games this past season, but Las Vegas has the Lakers projected to win 50.5 in the 2019-20 NBA season.
With LeBron hitting the stage in his career where he will have those ‘rest’ nights, the Lakers still have a solid team to go out and compete with. Showtime is back in Los Angeles it seems, and the hype is back around the men in purple and gold.