The 2018-19 NBA season is nearly here, which means the new-look Los Angeles Lakers will finally take the floor with LeBron James leading the way.
The excitement in Los Angeles is palpable, but James isn’t the only reason for fans to be on pins and needles. As always, there are a number of major storylines to watch in the never-boring world of the Lakers.
On this episode of the Lakers Nation Podcast host Trevor Lane and guest Hannah Kulik discuss a variety of topics, including the rumors swirling around Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler.
Should the Lakers make an attempt to trade for him before the season starts or are they better off waiting until Butler hits free agency next summer? Does the presence of James put more pressure on Los Angeles to make a move and win now or can they still afford to be patient?
Additionally, with James racking up minutes over the course of his long NBA career, can the Lakers find a way to minimize the risk of injury to their new star? It won’t be easy, but the team that they have constructed around him does seem to be put together with that very task in mind.
Not only are there veterans like Rajon Rondo to take over some of the playmaking responsibilities but the Lakers also have young wings like Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram who may be able to absorb some of James’ minutes guarding the other team’s best scorer.
Speaking of which, with a number of talented young players on the team’s roster, which one of the young Lakers will make the leap next season? There will be an opportunity for someone to step into a role as second-fiddle to James, but which of Ingram, Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart can make the leap?