The LA Lakers headed into this offseason eyeing to keep themselves in a strong position to contend for a second straight NBA title. LA has already a notable move to strengthen their backcourt further. The Lakers have quickly acted in free agency to continue that effort to improve their roster around LeBron James.
The Lakers are eyeing to compete for another NBA title
The Lakers finally returned to the top of the league this last past season after securing their 17th NBA title.
The tremendous level of success has shifted things into high gear for the Lakers to construct another championship-caliber roster this offseason. The expectation is that star forward Anthony Davis will ink another deal with the team, but there remain some important questions beyond that.
LA is in a promising position to stay in the title picture with their two stars in Davis and LeBron James guiding the way. General manager Rob Pelinka hasn’t wasted any time in free agency by adding to the roster with much-needed backcourt help.
The Lakers agree to a deal with Wesley Matthews
With the 2020 free agency period now underway, the Lakers have quickly added to their roster.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, LA has agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with veteran guard Wesley Matthews.
There had previously been chatter around the Lakers potentially having a strong interest in adding the swingman. The Lakers are reportedly using their bi-annual exception would hard-cap the team for next season.
Matthews is coming off a solid lone season with the Milwaukee Bucks. He played in a limited starting role averaging 7.4 points while shooting 36.4% from 3-point range, along with a solid defensive presence.
LA will likely look to have Matthews help fill the void left by Danny Green’s departure in the trade for Dennis Schroder. The 33-year-old provides versatility to defend guards and small forwards while being a dependable 3-point shooter holding a 38.1% career mark.
Matthews will have a defined role with the Lakers as he will play a pivotal role in the backcourt rotation that they need to address this offseason. The move also moves things full circle for the veteran guard as he joins his father, Wesley Matthews Sr., with the honor of playing a portion of their NBA career with the franchise.
More offseason moves ahead
The Lakers are coming off winning an NBA title, but that hasn’t moved them away from attempting to fortify their roster before next season further.
The front office has already made the notable move to acquire point guard Dennis Schroder to improve their backcourt. Schroder is coming off a Sixth Man of the Year-worthy campaign that should see him play a significant offensive role in LA next season.
Although it’s early in free agency, the team is expected to have a strong interest in keeping their core group together. The Lakers have key role players in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Dwight Howard, all available in the open market.
Caldwell-Pope is drawing interest from the New York Knicks and possibly the Atlanta Hawks. Meanwhile, Rondo has some strong interest from the LA Clippers and Hawks. The early conversation around Howard is that he may not have an active market with the Lakers potentially being his strongest suitor.
Much can unfold in the coming weeks, which LA will approach with the mindset of putting together a roster that can contend for another title.