The Los Angeles Lakers brought in a a player with high energy and hustle with the signing of former Golden State Warriors veteran forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.
The 29-year-old wing averaged 4.1 points on 49 percent shooting from the field last season in 73 regular season games with the Warriors. Known for his likability in the locker room, Toscano-Anderson adds a friendly face to the new look Lakers that will need a culture established.
A versatile skillset on the perimeter and in the paint provides L.A. with various options on how to fit the 6-foot-6-inch wing in the rotation. The Laker faithful are excited about Toscano-Anderson’s fit with the roster, and how his skillset will match with the Lakers is all founded by his ‘whatever it takes to win’ mentality.
“To be honest, without sounding arrogant, I think my skillset translates to any team,” Toscano-Anderson said. “I think what I do is so versatile that I can fit on any team. I think I can guard 1-5, I’ll do whatever it takes to win. And when I say whatever, I mean that to the core of it. I’ll dive over scorer’s tables, I’ll rebound, I’ll do whatever it takes. So I think I can find a place on any team ultimately with my energy, the way I approach my craft. I think it’s infectious and I think I could be a bright spot, not that any team needs a bright spot, but I think I can bring that positivity on a day-to-day basis and that’s a skill in itself.
“I’m not even talking about basketball stuff, just who I am as a player, as a teammate and as a human being. I could find a place on any team, and in regards to basketball, like I said, I can guard multiple positions, can play multiple positions on the offensive end. I think I’m a very cerebral player. You only have to team me things one time, I can remember plays from every position. So I think I can fit on any team and just being able to have the opportunity to play with a guy like LeBron, who is an extremely smart player, very talented player. I think I can complement him in a lot of ways.”
The all-around versatility Toscano-Anderson provides on both sides of the ball is a unique trait that causes players to thrive in any system on any team. With head coach Darvin Ham looking to transform the culture of the Lakers, Toscano-Anderson fits right into a team that is looking to be competitive, united and accountable.
Being able to guard positions 1-5 on the court is appealing to any NBA team. When asked about how his defensive versatility may have been a pull factor for the Lakers to sign him, Toscano-Anderson details how his play style and personality fit what Ham is trying to sell.
“I think it’s one of the bigger things, for sure. Coach Ham, he really emphasizes how we’re gonna play defense, how we’re gonna get after it and I think that’s who I am. That’s the culture that I want to be in, that’s the culture that I want to be a part of. I’m a gritty player, like I said, I’ll do whatever it takes to win and I mean that. So I think I just fit that mentality and that vibe he’s trying to set.”
High-energy and the versatility Toscano-Anderson possesses will be a great contribution to the Lakers aspirations of a championship. The pedigree the 2022 NBA Champion with the Warriors carries will translate well with a locker room full of young talent who want to win.
Darvin Ham instilling confidence in Damian Jones
With the signing of former Sacramento Kings center Damian Jones, the Lakers add youth and traditionalism to the center spot alongside Anthony Davis at power forward.
The 26-year-old center provides the Lakers with the rim-protection that helped during the Lakers 2020 NBA championship victorious run. Jones played for the Purple and Gold for eight games during the 2020-21 season, and now his time has come to prove his worth on a two-year contract.
With the familiarity already there by playing for the Lakers, the confidence that is needed to be stirred up in Jones is already in the works with Ham instilling it in him heading into the 2022-23 season.
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