The Los Angeles Lakers trade with the Brooklyn Nets not only created a more favorable cap situation, but also brought former All-Star center, Brook Lopez, back home. Now near his home of North Hollywood, Lopez is set to take over the primary scoring duties from the center position.
Lopez has been basking in the glory since his trade, joining a franchise with a plethora of NBA legends and 16 championship banners. Los Angeles seems to have escaped the negative energy around the franchise with their revamped front office, entering a franchise-changing season.
Los Angeles continues to train and build chemistry at the new UCLA Training Health Center, in lieu of the 2017-18 campaign. Lopez, front and center in relation to the scoring distribution, will tie in heavily to head coach Luke Walton’s plans. During a recent appearance on the ‘Popcorn Machine’ podcast, Lopez stated his goal entering the offseason, in anticipation of his first season with the Lakers:
“I just wanted to come into this situation in my best shape, position, whatever possible. I wanted to be able to step on the floor come opening night and show the Lakers fan what I’m capable of doing. Help the team in whatever means necessary by whatever means necessary. I think it’s more, for me, a mental mindset more than anything. I’ve been working hard on the court, weight room and everything of course, but just being mentally prepared to step up from day one.”
Entering his 10th NBA season, Lopez was ranked No. 51 on ESPN’s annual NBA rank, an indication of the type of impact he can have this season. During his nine seasons with the Nets, Lopez posted averages of 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 blocks, while shooting 50.6 percent from the field.
Many have pointed to Lopez and how he has added a three-point shot to his arsenal, which has even impressed rookie Lonzo Ball. The 29-year-old also stated the physical and mental preparation required to thrive in the NBA, also pointing out how anxious he is to put on a show for the Lakers fans.
With a chance to play just outside of his hometown, Lopez truly feels comfortable in his new role with the Lakers. Although Lopez may miss some early action during the preseason, he figures to be an integral part of the offense this season.