As the Los Angeles Lakers waited on the Kawhi Leonard decision, many of the league’s top free-agent role players signed elsewhere, leading many to wonder what kind of roster they could build around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma.
Along with new head coach Frank Vogel, there were questions about whether the Lakers could build a team that could really compete for a championship.
Once Leonard decided to sign with the Clippers, the Lakers moved quickly to build the roster. While Danny Green was the biggest signing, they also brought in Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels, and Dwight Howard (as a replacement for DeMarcus Cousins). The Lakers also re-signed JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, and Alex Caruso to fill in the gaps around their two All-Star players.
Considering the circumstances, the Lakers did a very solid job of building up their roster and Vogel is very excited about what he has to work with, as he told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
I think Rondo has shot the heck out of the basketball from the 3-point line. I think Avery (Bradley), KCP, Dwight (Howard) and Jared Dudley all look lighter and are in great shape. LeBron has had a great summer physically and is in great shape. Danny Green (looks great). Seeing AD up close and personal just gets you excited about what his season is going to look like. Our young guys – Caruso and Quinn Cook – have shown me a lot. I feel good about throwing those guys in at any point. They could be competing for some big roles for our team. JaVale (McGee) is a serious dude that works, that’s in a far different place mentally in his career than he was earlier in his career. Kuzma is a 10 out of 10 attitude and worker, and just a guy that’s going to be an ass kicker for us this year. Daniels, the shooting.
Vogel would continue on that he loves the shooting the Lakers have as a whole:
And what I love, more than individual speaking, is the shooting that we have. At every position. Aside from our two rolling centers, everybody has the ability to carry a threat from the 3-point line. I think when you have that type of supporting cast around elite offensive players, you’re going to be a good team.
Shooting has been an issue for the Lakers the last few seasons, but they definitely brought in some players who should help to improve that. With Davis and James around to garner so much attention, the rest of the Lakers must be able to hit open shots.
This is certainly the most talented roster that Vogel has ever had the chance to coach and he understands the level of pressure he is facing.
Vogel has ideas on what he needs to do to win with this team and now it will be on him to implement them — and the team to execute.