The LA Lakers have kept their foot on the pedal this offseason by adding to their roster after winning their 17th NBA title. The Lakers have put themselves into a promising spot to contend for another championship. Before that quest can begin, LA may have already laid out a game plan for LeBron James next season.
Lakers put together a busy offseason
The Lakers headed into this offseason coming off an NBA title, but that hasn’t stopped them from retooling the roster.
There were expected changes to the supporting cast around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which saw some solid moves. LA lost three pivotal role players in Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and Avery Bradley in free agency.
However, the team moved quickly to solidify their bench with a much-needed scoring boost by trading for Dennis Schroder and signing reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. The Lakers also inked Wesley Matthews to a one-year deal to replace Danny Green while securing former All-Star Marc Gasol to fill Howard’s frontcourt role. They also brought back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris.
LA still has a move or two up their sleeves to add to the roster, which has been nothing short of a busy offseason. The team has already progressively rolled toward their approach for next season regarding the four-time NBA champion.
Lakers’ game plan for LeBron James next season
The NBA has swiftly moved toward a December start date, which has significantly shortened the offseason for many teams, including the Lakers.
The situation has put LA in a tough spot where there is a necessity to take care of their veteran players to avoid any setbacks. General manager Rob Pelinka has made it quite clear that the team will have a “balancing act” of tempering the workload for their roster headlined by LeBron James. (H/T Lakers Nation)
“That will just be a balancing act throughout the season of kind of recognizing there was an extremely short layoff between a championship and start of the season, and kind of figuring out what’s best for LeBron, what’s best for his health, our team’s health, what’s best for the league, and kind of walking that carefully and thoughtfully throughout the year.”
James is heading into his 18th season, and the Lakers will do whatever is necessary to keep him healthy throughout the year. The regular season is a marathon, with the finish line being the playoffs. All that may guide the team to cut his minutes early in the year on to preserve his body with an occasional “load management” night off.
The Lakers have the bigger picture in mind, and if they hope to contend for another NBA title, James will have to be a pivotal and driving factor to their success.
Well-positioned for another NBA title run
Beyond the expected game plan ahead for LeBron James and other core pieces to the roster, the Lakers are positioned for a strong championship push.
In many regards, the Lakers have improved the overall roster talent that should present an added offensive punch. Their bench will have more scoring behind Schroder and Harrell leading the charge.
Meanwhile, proven veterans such as Matthews and Gasol will give the team more players to depend on throughout the year. The task has become more difficult with the LA Clippers making significant offseason moves while the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers have improved their rosters.
The Lakers remain the clear-cut favorite title favorite, which will put their busy offseason to the test to see if that is enough to guide them to a title.