Once Kawhi Leonard spurned the Los Angeles Lakers to join the Los Angeles Clippers, they moved quickly to assemble a roster around their two All-Star players in Anthony Davis and LeBron James as well as Kyle Kuzma.
The first of those moves came immediately after Leonard’s announcement as his former teammate Danny Green revealed he was joining the Lakers.
Green had long been considered an ideal target for the Lakers. He is an excellent perimeter defender who can guard the other team’s best player, shot 45.5% from three-point range for the 2018-19 NBA season, and has championship experience with two NBA championships to his name.
Green surely could have gone any number of places, but decided on the Lakers and told Rob Lep of Stat Sports that is was an obvious decision to do so:
“It was pretty obvious. It wasn’t a difficult decision,” Green said to STAT Sports while appearing at his annual youth basketball camp at North Babylon High School on Long Island. “They have two superstars and they can build around them easy. I feel like I was a piece that could help add to a contender and help to turn the franchise around from the last couple of years or so.”
The Lakers undoubtedly have championship aspirations and many view them as one of the favorites coming into the 2019-20 season. Green definitely believes they have the roster to do so, but understands that nothing matters until the team gets on the court:
“I think we have a good roster on paper but it doesn’t matter until you put it to work and put it on the court. Everybody looks great in the preseason. We’ll see how healthy we stay and how good our chemistry is. We have some good veterans and leaders.”
Health is always a major factor for any team and the Lakers found out firsthand last season how quickly things can change if the full roster isn’t available. Chemistry and fit will also be a concern for this team considering the roster they assembled.
When many look at the best players on the team, they immediately point towards Davis, James, Kuzma, and DeMarcus Cousins — all of whom are frontcourt players. Green, Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, and Quinn Cook will all be battling for backcourt minutes and things will be split up among them will be closely watched.
There have been many teams put together that failed to live up to expectations and the Lakers don’t want to be among them. As Green noted, the talent is there for them to make a run at a championship, but nothing is for certain until the games start.