2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers Player Review: Juan Toscano-Anderson
Juan Toscano-Anderson, Lakers
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers brought in a number of role players last offseason whom they believed would help to shape the identity of the team around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. One of those was Juan Toscano-Anderson, a hard-nosed defensive forward who had spent the previous three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, winning a championship and learning from the likes of Draymond Green.

Toscano-Anderson undoubtedly brought great energy and toughness to the Lakers when he was on the floor, and his ability to guard multiple positions made him an option head coach Darvin Ham turned to often early on in the season. The biggest question for Toscano-Anderson was whether he could consistently knock down outside shots, and that would ultimately decide his fate within the Lakers’ rotation.

Unfortunately, Toscano-Anderson turned in his worst outside shooting performance of his NBA career so far. In 30 games with the Lakers, he shot just 20% from three-point range, and that negatively affected the spacing for the team on offense. He also dealt with an ankle injury that kept him out for a couple of weeks as well. Even still, any time he was on the court, he gave the maximum effort that he was known for and hounded the opposition on the defensive end.

Overall Toscano-Anderson averaged 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 30 games for the Lakers with 7 starts. The Lakers would trade him to the Utah Jazz on February 9 as part of the three-team deal that brought them back D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley.

2022-23 Highlight

A primarily defensive player whose impact doesn’t always show up on the box score, there isn’t going to be many games that stand out in the traditional sense for Toscano-Anderson. He is a player who thrives on hustle, loose balls and doing the dirty work.

In terms of his best statistical game in purple and gold, he had a strong showing against the Atlanta Hawks when he was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field to finish with seven points, three rebounds and a steal in a Lakers victory. The reserves for the Lakers were huge in the contest with Anthony Davis out, and Toscano-Anderson was a +13 on the night, his highest +/- for the Lakers.

2023-24 Outlook

Toscano-Anderson will once again be a free agent this offseason, and the same questions about his perimeter shooting will persist. He is a great defender and excellent teammate who is beloved by those who have played with him, but his lack of offense and how it can negatively affect his team has limited him in his career thus far.

Still just 30 years old, it would seem likely that a team will sign him, likely to another one-year minimum deal where he will have the opportunity to prove himself to get a long-term contract in the future.

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