During 2019 NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers patiently waited for Kawhi Leonard‘s decision as other free agents re-signed with their teams or signed elsewhere.
Fortunately for Los Angeles, they were still able to sign 3-and-D players and rim protectors at below market value while maintaining cap flexibility for 2021 free agency.
With nine new players, James was asked who has stood out through the first three days of 2019 NBA training camp.
“I like our team. I thought Dwight and JaVale… they’ve been very good — if not great since practice started. I love what they’re able to do,” James revealed to the media.
“Those are two guys that stood out and Avery continues to stand out obviously just with his defensive tenacity.”
The 2018-19 NBA season was not kind to them as Howard was limited to nine games while Bradley struggled in 49 games with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, it appears they are motivated to prove they are still good NBA players.
As Bradley wants to show he is the ‘best perimeter defender in the NBA,’ Howard ‘put his money where his mouth was’ by signing a one-year, non-guaranteed deal in his second stint.
If Howard and Bradley are able to stay relatively healthy and maintain this level of play, Pelinka and company will receive a lot of credit for signing two players on bargain deals.
As the Lakers prepare for their first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 5, there is plenty of optimism about the 2019-20 season. While the Lakers know what they are getting from James and Davis, winning the 2020 NBA Finals may come down to their role players.