After much examination, the Los Angeles Lakers revamped the outlook of their roster and made many necessary changes. Headlining that process was the trade with the Brooklyn Nets involving Brook Lopez, while also drafting point guard Lonzo Ball second overall to replace D’Angelo Russell.
With a brief cameo during the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, Ball captured the Summer League MVP award. Although he and Brandon Ingram were unable to play in the finals, they were there to support their Summer League teammates on the path to the championship. However, the attention of these two young stars in the making now shifts to training camp, as they get acclimated to their Lakers teammates.
With so many players with different skill sets in an evolving NBA, head coach Luke Walton has the luxury of experimenting to find the best combinations. With Ball getting a first-hand look at his new teammates, he has thus far been pleasantly surprised with the spacing Lopez provides, via the Lakers Nation Podcast:
“It’s going to help a lot just based on the fact that he can spread the floor. Anytime you have a seven-footer that can shoot like that it’s always going to help the team. I’m looking forward to playing with him this year and seeing what we can do together.”
Heading into the 2016-17 season, Lopez understood that the NBA was drifting away from the prototypical back to the basket type of scorer. However, he was able to thread the line between scoring from the paint and spacing the floor for his teammates.
Lopez had only three career three-pointers made before the 2016-17 season, when he erupted for 134 three-pointers on 34.6 percent that season. To put that into perspective, Russell only accumulated 135 himself. With Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope spacing the wings, the Lakers truly can spread the floor and the wealth.
Lopez figures heavily into the Lakers offense, as the most proven scorer on the roster. With Ball thriving in the open court and pick-and-roll situations, Lopez will be able to provide larger lanes to the basket when he steps outside of the paint while still being a capable post scorer down low when necessary.