The Lakers are old, but LeBron James will need the kids if he’s going to win another ring.
LeBron James is the king of basketball, but he will need to rely on his young players if he has any hope of winning another ring. Read more in detail here: will lebron james play in 2020 olympics.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason maneuvers centered on LeBron James have gotten a lot of attention. LA signed Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in a blockbuster trade, and the team has emphasized experience in its free agency moves. However, if James and the Lakers are to return to the NBA finals after a disappointing season, it may be because to the young players they acquired.
Being a championship candidate requires a combination of age and postseason experience. However, having the NBA’s oldest squad comes with a greater risk of injury and a decrease in performance. If The King is going to win another ring, he’ll need the help of the city’s youthful guns.
James and the Lakers have the NBA’s oldest roster.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James takes a shot against the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker. Getty Images/Christian Petersen
As the team’s roster stands going into training camp, the Lakers’ average age of 30.7 is the oldest in the NBA. By a significant margin. Only the Brooklyn Nets, at a ripe old age of 28.2, are the only other team to reach the 28-year mark.
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Westbrook in a trade from the Washington Wizards. He’s 32 years old. Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, both 35 years old and part of the Lakers’ 2020 championship squad, were also welcomed back by the club. Carmelo Anthony, who joined James in Los Angeles at the age of 37, is even older than his best friend.
In free agency, the Lakers also signed Trevor Ariza (36), Wayne Ellington (33) and Kent Bazemore (32). Anthony Davis, James’ co-pilot, is just 28 years old but has a lengthy injury history.
Los Angeles also threw in some youngsters, who may wind up being a force in 2021-22.
In the Westbrook trade, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka traded away Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Montrezl Harrell, three of the team’s finest young(ish) players.
Only James, Davis, and Talen Horton-Tucker remain from last season’s team. And it’s possible that the 20-year-old Horton-Tucker, along with Kendrick Nunn, 26, and Malik Monk, 23, will offer the spark and play the appropriate positions alongside James and the Lakers’ experienced group.
One of the expectations in bringing in Westbrook is that he would relieve James of some of the playmaking duties and that he will be able to manage the offense without LBJ. Davis can help the offense hum as well. However, each of LA’s Big Three has had recent injury issues.
Last season, James only played 45 games and Davis just 36. Both were injured in the Lakers’ defeat to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. Westbrook appeared in 65 games last season and 57 this season.
If any of those three players are injured, Anthony will have to carry a greater share of the scoring burden. Rondo and Howard have never been scorers, and although Ellington, Bazemore, and Ariza are all capable in their respective positions, they don’t provide much more to the team.
Horton-Tucker is maturing into a versatile winger. In 20.1 minutes per game last season, the Iowa State product averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Nunn has averaged 18.3 points, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per 36 minutes in his career while shooting 36.4 percent from three. In addition, the former Miami point guard has appeared in 19 postseason games.
Monk is the most high-risk, high-reward signing of them all. The 2017 draft’s 11th overall selection had long been anticipated as a bench scorer, but he finally delivered on that promise past season. With Charlotte in 2020-21, the former Kentucky Wildcat scored 11.7 points per game and shot a career-high 40.1 percent from three-point range.
James and the rest of LA’s ring chasers will need their youthful triumvirate.
Rajon Rondo says he’s looking forward to the “naysayers” who think the Lakers’ squad is too old, but he adds that you don’t get to play in the NBA for this long without discipline.
August 31, 2021 — Kyle Goon (@kylegoon)
Monk’s scoring talent has the potential to sway games on any given night. At his best, he’s a bench player in the mold of Lou Williams or Jordan Clarkson. Along with James and Davis, Horton-Tucker has two years of experience and can step in at the three or four positions. Nunn has managed a playoff club before and might be an excellent short-term replacement for Westbrook and/or Rondo.
This year’s roster was based on experience by LeBron and Pelinka. That may turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made. The Lakers, on the other hand, are putting a lot of old, broken eggs in their basket. This season, Monk, Nunn, and Horton-Tucker will all be called upon at some time; they must be prepared.
Basketball-Reference provided all statistics, and Spotrac provided roster information.
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The Los Angeles Lakers are an old team, but LeBron James will need the kids if he wants to win another ring. Reference: los angeles lakers.
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