Lakers Video: LeBron James Works Out With Troy Brown Jr. & Phil Handy On Labor Day
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have shown the desire to put the nightmare 2022-23 season behind them, getting in the gym early to build form ahead of the next season.

Young players Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel resumed workouts in early June already — with Reaves reportedly bulking up to 209 pounds over the summer. Anthony Davis has been seen trying to improve his jump shot with coach Lethal Shooter.

Meanwhile, LeBron James spent some time in the gym with Kevin Love right after the end of the 2022 NBA Finals and was seen hooping with sons Bryce and Bronny at the Lakers practice facility later in the summer — in addition to appearances at pro-am events.

James didn’t take a day off even on Labor Day, putting in extra reps with Troy Brown Jr. and assistant coach Phil Handy. The 37-year-old All-Star shared photos and videos of the workout on Instagram, captioning it: “My friends asked me earlier if I was BBQ’n for the holiday. I said I am, ask the ones in attendance!”

In his response, Handy doubled down on the barbeque theme of the post, writing: “Chicken, steak, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and anything else you wanted on the grill” alongside a hashtag that read “work is real.”

The 51-year-old assistant coach then saluted James on his work ethic, writing in a separate post: “It’s not work when you love it. Year 20 no days off.”

James hopes to contend for a championship again and reportedly sought reassurances about the Lakers’ competitiveness from vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka earlier in the summer.

Since then, L.A. has traded for Patrick Beverley and is believed to have been working on a Russell Westbrook trade. The Lakers reportedly hope to part ways with Westbrook and bring back valuable role players in return.

However, that is likely to cost them both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.

NBA executive believes Lakers’ first-rounders are ‘most powerful’ in the league

The Lakers have been protective of their first-rounders throughout the summer. They are believed to be willing to give up both of them only in the case of a deal that would significantly improve the roster.

An NBA executive claims the Lakers’ picks are currently the most coveted draft capital in the league, adding they should seek a high return for them if both first-round picks end up being a part of a potential Westbrook trade.

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