The Los Angeles Lakers have to be considered one of the winners of free agency after reloading the roster in the first couple of days.
The Lakers had their hands tied after trading for Russell Westbrook as they were depleted of any cap space and had minimal draft assets or young players to throw in additional deals. However, Rob Pelinka was able to work around this as he targeted several veterans with varying skillsets who complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
It is no secret the Lakers were in desperate need of shooting and Pelinka addressed that issue by signing Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore. He also filled the shot-blocking and rim running void by bringing back Dwight Howard.
While the group of veterans can all still contribute, numerous fans and media have pushed back on the moves by calling them old or washed. Not putting up with any of that talk, James fired back at the criticism on his Twitter account, via Bleacher Report:
LeBron calls out those doubting the Lakers ???? pic.twitter.com/V83nXIdJIX
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 4, 2021
James deleted the tweet and sent out a new one but also eventually deleted that one as well. Still, his message was loud and clear when it comes to his feelings about the Lakers’ detractors.
It is definitely a slight concern that the roster is mainly comprised of veterans who are way past their primes, but that is mainly an issue for the 82-game regular season. Los Angeles is definitely constructed to compete in the playoffs where the collective age of the group matters less as head coach Frank Vogel will have shorter rotations as he gives James, Davis and Westbrook more minutes.
The focus has been on the older players on the roster, but the Lakers were able to balance it out by re-signing Talen Horton-Tucker as well as Monk and Kendrick Nunn. TNT analyst Reggie Miller was one prominent voice who had a mixed review of the Purple and Gold’s moves, and he is just one of many who share the same opinion.
However, the last time James took something personal he brought the Lakers an NBA championship, so him being upset should scare the rest of the league.
Wizards owner rips Russell Westbrook for requesting multiple trades
In the modern NBA, it is normal for star players to ask out of their current situations if they feel they are not competing for titles. However, Westbrook’s request to be traded from the Washington Wizards bothered owner Ted Leonsis, who blasted him for the move.
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