President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were hard at work this summer putting together the Los Angeles Lakers roster. Obviously, the biggest signing was LeBron James, but the front office also added veterans Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee.
Combining those veterans with the existing young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart gives the Lakers a very intriguing team. The young cored showed a lot of potential last year, and the franchise expects the veterans to help get the team over the hump.
Though, they will first be pitted against one another as Lakers head coach Luke Walton already revealed the first training camp scrimmage will be the young players against veterans.
Speaking at “An Evening With the Laker,” as Pelinka highlighted what he believes Rondo, Stephenson and McGee bring to the Lakers roster:
“I think when you look at guys like Rajon Rondo, he’s a basketball savant. All the players in the league know that. He was on our court a day ago, and I was watching from my office. He was working on one play for two hours. That’s that Kobe-level of detail and breaking down plays. Lance Stephenson, he brings that sort of swagger and toughness from New York City, Rucker Park. He’s been in here the last couple days talking a lot, bringing energy to practice. JaVale McGee, we felt like he was a big that could run with Lonzo and Rondo when they’re pushing pace, keep the floor energized and protect the rim.”
Rondo’s knowledge of the game has always been championed as one of his strong suits. It’s an area Kobe Bryant believes Lonzo Ball can benefit from in playing alongside the veteran point guard.
Rondo has long been one of the most intelligent players in the NBA and that, combined with his vision and passing ability, will be huge for the Lakers.
Likewise, as Pelinka noted, Stephenson brings a level of toughness and energy that very few players can match. McGee gives the Lakers an above-the-rim finisher that the team’s playmakers will love and a rim protector on the other end.
Whether everything works out as intended remains to be seen, but the Lakers have put together a roster that they believe will be able to compete immediately.