It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers will be limited in their attempt to improve their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer.
The Lakers opted to invest in more talented young players for the 2020-21 season, and although their thinking was sound, injuries ruined their title defense and left several questions for the offseason. Building a team to complement James and Davis is what most front offices dream of, but in Los Angeles’ case that could prove to be difficult as they are over the cap and have very few resources to acquire a player via a trade or sign someone outright in free agency.
As far as team needs go, shooting is at the top of everyone’s mind, but the Lakers would also benefit from having another playmaker who can ease the burden off of James. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, it appears they are looking to add someone who can slot James and Davis into their natural positions:
Word is that the Lakers, on top of their well-chronicled need for more shooting, covet one more difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center.
Even though most teams opt to go smaller to take advantage of spacing, the Lakers are one of the few who can downsize and still retain their size on the floor. However, because James is often the initiator of the offense, he rarely gets opportunities to play through the post or elbows where he could utilize his elite floor vision.
Surrounding James with playmakers is how Magic Johnson originally envisioned the roster when he was still the president of basketball operations, and it appears L.A. is revisiting that idea while still emphasizing their need for shooters. The Lakers’ offense cratered whenever James hit the bench so adding someone who can take the reins and set up him and Davis could be just what the team needs to get back to the NBA Finals.
Johnson gives opinion on James and Davis’ roles for 2021-22 season
Johnson is not shy when it comes to voicing his thoughts and he rattled off ideas on how to better use James and Davis. He believes Davis needs to be playing more center while letting James play more off the ball. He also suggested the Lakers add another shooter to flank them, though that is a given at this point.
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