The Los Angeles Lakers had a very interesting roster construction for the 2018-19 NBA season.
Although the Lakers established a nice group of young players, LeBron James joining in free agency changed expectations. This led to the Lakers adding a number of veterans in order to help the team win immediately. One even came after the season began as they added center Tyson Chandler, who was bought out by the Phoenix Suns.
Chandler has been around the league for a very long time, winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks and being one of the NBA’s most respected players. He has seen all the sides of a franchise building up a team and believes the most important thing for the Lakers to do is decide what kind of team they want to be.
“I think really understanding what kind of team you want to be and then start there and then start putting the pieces around,” Chandler said at his recent exit interview.
“If you’re gonna be a fast-paced team, if you’re gonna rely on Bron to do a lot of things or whatever it is you’re gonna do, then you start placing those pieces. Because if you need to add shooting around them or you’re gonna be a pick-and-roll team or if you’re gonna slow it down on the bigs.”
Team identity is undoubtedly extremely important. Some focus on offense and three-pointers while others are more defensive-minded and physical, but once a team finds it, they can begin to build their team properly. Just as important according to Chandler is getting that All-Star player to build around.
“And I think it also is gonna be who can you get and then you build from there as well,” Chandler further explained. “Like, alright, I know we got a shot at this guy, so I like these pieces and then let’s build on that. I think it really comes down to who you can land and then from there who do you want to be.”
Much like the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets finding players who fit perfectly around Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden respectively, the Lakers must do the same. It is important for them to find the right group of players who fit around James already in house and move from there.