Heading into the 2019-20 NBA season, one of the major storylines will be how the Los Angeles Lakers will manage LeBron James‘ workload throughout 82 games now.
Coming off the first significant injury of his career (groin strain), James is set to turn 35-years-old in his 17th season.
With James wanting Anthony Davis to be the team’s first option on offense, it is currently unclear what this means.
As James staying relatively is of utmost importance, head coach Frank Vogel was asked about 2019 NBA preseason.
“I’m not sure about that yet. Not a ton. We want to be intelligent,” Vogel said after the second day of practice.
“We want to get him enough reps to get familiar with his teammates and get on the same page and build some cohesiveness. But certainly, we’re going to want to be intelligent and not overdo it during the preseason.”
For the first time since the 2013-14 season, the Lakers will travel to China to play two games against the Brooklyn Nets.
While no decisions have been made yet, traveling to another country and the time difference could be factors in limiting James and Anthony Davis‘ minutes during the preseason.
Following the preseason, the Lakers also have 12 back-to-back games and it will be interesting to see if Vogel and James discuss sitting out at least one in these situations.
Although James is ‘very motivated’ to prove he is still the best player, Father Time is undefeated and everyone involved needs to be intelligent as Vogel mentioned.
If James and the Lakers can stay healthy, they should be considered the favorites to win it all in the 2020 NBA Finals. With two All-Star players and strong role players, general manager Rob Pelinka and company have given Los Angeles a legitimate chance to win and that is all one can ask for.