Amidst multiple earthquakes in CA this week, NBA fans were more shook up about the NBA Free Agency news. There will be some new faces suiting up in LA this season. The Lakers didn’t land Kawhi Leonard; however, his signing with the Clippers ignited a basketball war in the city of Los Angeles.
This version of the NBA is one unlike we have ever seen before. The talent on both the Clippers and Lakers is off the charts. We see a nice mixture of superstars, utility players, respectable veterans, legends in the front office, and all under one roof: the Staples Center.
This season the Lakers will have a completely new identity. 7 players have been added and 3 were re-signed. What will each new addition contribute to the Lakers’ championship run?
The Lakers will be the 7th team that Jared Dudley will play for in his 12th NBA season. Dudley is not known for his scoring, size, athleticism, or any of the makings of a typical modern NBA player. What Dudley does possess are tangible attributes that you cannot teach.
He has a positive spirit, a high basketball IQ and has a strong, competitive edge. The former Nets forward is a utility player, meaning he willingly plays whatever role is asked of him. Dudley was also a major factor in developing the culture present in the Brooklyn Nets locker room. Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley should provide that positive buffer amongst a group of players with strong, combative personalities.
When healthy, Anthony Davis is the best Power Forward in the NBA. There is no denying it – he’s an MVP caliber player. He brings scoring, length and a strong defensive presence to the new Lakers.
Davis is a former 1stAll-NBA Defensive Team selection, a 2x 2nd All-NBA Defensive Team selection, and a 3x leading shot blocker in the league. He will be the key to the Lakers defensive success this season. Cousins, Chandler, and McGee are solid frontcourt pieces, but they lack the strength and athletic ability that Davis possesses. On the flip side, Davis has a bit of a history with injuries. If the Lakers want to contend for a championship, he will have to play 60+ games this season.
Danny Green is a very compelling pick up for the Lakers. He is a 2x NBA Champion and obtained both rings as a teammate of Kawhi Leonard. Green is here because he can shoot on the perimeter. Last season Green shot a career-best 45% from behind the arc. Unfortunately, he has no in-between game, nor does he move that well without the ball. Still, Green is undeniably the best shooter on this roster. His presence should create open driving lanes for LeBron and AD. He is also a solid defender on the wings.
At one point in time, the enigma Boogie Cousins was the best true post player in the NBA. Cousins and Davis played together for two years in New Orleans before he signed with the Warriors in 2018. Prior to the Achilles injury, Cousins was averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists per contest. He brings depth and his basketball IQ to this roster.
Offensively, he can do a multitude of things pertaining to scoring and passing on the block. The former 4x All-Star is probably the best passing big man in the league. Cousin’s ability to create for others will secure him minutes on the floor this season. He will be targeted by opponents on the defensive end, as he is one of the weakest defenders on this roster.
Quinn Cook has fought and clawed his way to get the NBA. A former Duke Blue Devil, Cook went undrafted in the 2015 Draft which sent him straight to the D-League. In 2017, Cook managed to get called up by the Warriors who desperately needed guard depth. Cook will be fulfilling the same role with the Lakers that he did with Golden State. Cook has impressed many with his ability to come off the bench late in games and hit big shots.
Like Cook, Caruso was a tough 4-year college player who went undrafted and had to wait for his opportunity. Caruso gave the Lakers good minutes last season after Lonzo Ball went down with an injury. His youth will be utilized on this heavy, veteran roster. He is likely to back up Rondo at the point guard spot.
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