The Los Angeles Lakers will be one of the biggest question marks going into the 2021-22 NBA season after completely overhauling their roster this summer.
The big move was acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards to pair a third star with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
After that though, the Lakers still managed to add some quality pieces on minimum contracts, addressing a number of needs such as shooting and rim protection.
As things currently stand, the Lakers still have three open roster spots to give out, which will be important for adding some valuable depth. As far as needs go, NBA insider Marc Stein recently reported that the Lakers are prioritizing adding another wing with James Ennis being a possibility:
“For the Lakers, wing depth is more important than a backup guard. James Ennis is a name that’s been mentioned for the Lakers.”
The Lakers looking for another wing defender doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering they lost some of their best from last season. They did bring in some wings like Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony to help fill the void but given their ages, it makes sense to add one more.
Ennis is coming off a quality season with the Orlando Magic as the 6’6″ wing averaged 8.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting a career-high 43.3% from 3-point range in 41 games.
The 31-year-old is known more for his defense than shooting, but if he can shoot at the level he did last season then that would be a big addition for the Lakers.
Given where free agency is at, it will be interesting to see what Ennis is prioritizing. Most teams are out of cap space so it seems likely that he signs for the minimum. That means his decision could come down to role, which wouldn’t bode well for the Lakers considering they would likely only offer him spot minutes.
If location is important to Ennis then the Lakers may have a chance though as he is a native of Venture that played his college ball at Long Beach State.
Bazemore excited to pick Ariza’s brain
As far as the Lakers’ current wings go, Bazemore and Ariza both should see plenty of playing time although it remains to be seen who will crack the starting lineup.
That is not a concern for Bazeomre though as he is just looking forward to picking Ariza’s brain.
“Trevor Ariza is a guy I’m looking forward to learning a lot from being a wing defender,” Bazemore said. “He made an outstanding career from being a 3-and-D guy. I’m looking forward to picking his brain.”
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