Despite going into the offseason with limited resources, the Los Angeles Lakers still revamped their squad with several notable veterans behind their new big 3.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook turned the Purple and Gold into early favorites to contend for a title in the 2021-22 NBA season. This helped the front office sweeten the pot for players to sign veteran minimums for the chance at pursuing a ring.
Of course, there is now plenty of concern regarding whether or not this team is too old to overcome the grind of a full season. But, even if Father Time remains undefeated, there were not very many routes to pursue once the blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook came to fruition.
In an interview with Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, team owner Jeanie Buss acknowledged that the Lakers’ brass had to use every trick at their disposal to get some bang for their buck from quality players.
“We’re over the cap. We have really no room. When we made that trade (for Westbrook), we knew we’d have to fill the roster with seven or eight players at the veterans minimum. And so trying to convince players to come on one-year deals for the minimum is a challenge. So you get a lot of guys that are willing to take less money for the opportunity to possibly go for a championship, or play in a city that has other opportunities as they transition to the next part of their career. And we kind of had to capitalize on that because we’ve got three players taking up 90 percent of our payroll, and certainly, Russell Westbrook. You know we’ve got a big three now, and Russell is somebody that’s from L.A., went to UCLA, and I think our fans are going to be just cuckoo for him, are going to be so happy that he’s here. It’s like the return of one of our own.”
Buss’ comments are indicative of a whirlwind offseason and how it takes just one domino to make the rest fall into place. For the Lakers, it was already evident what they needed to do following the addition of Westbrook.
L.A. was fortunate that their familiarity with proven contributors like Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard made it easier to fill out the roster with slid options. The onus will ultimately fall on Frank Vogel to find a way to put it all together.
Russell Westbrook puts this roster up again any team
All the talk regarding this roster’s age has not gone unnoticed by the Lakers’ new trio of stars. Even James has had to acknowledge some of the sleights that have come from media outlets this offseason.
However, Westbrook is understandably giddy about his new teammates and all the pieces that were brought together.
“Yeah, man, it’s amazing,” Westbrook said. “The roster’s great. A bunch of guys that I’ve already known previously, which is even better. And I’m more excited just to like I said before, I’m always interested in as I come into the season, always looking at the roster and figuring out how I can make other guys better, and it’s as simple as that.”