Lakers Look to Reload Their Chances at a Championship

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With the best possible ending to an incredibly odd season, the Lakers look to revamp their lineup with some new assets. What will the next season look like? Who has Los Angeles already snagged? Who do they need to pursue? Let’s dive into the limitless possibilities for our Lakers.

Lakers Free Agency

The Lakers have a handful of free agents, along with free agents with player options.

We’ve already seen a few players decide to opt out of their contracts in Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and possibly Avery Bradley.

Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Jared Dudly, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith are also free agents that might look to test the waters this offseason.

Anthony Davis

Davis has opted out of his player option and has not said what he plans on doing just yet. Don’t worry Laker fans! Davis is expected to re-sign on a different contract to continue playing alongside LeBron James for the next couple years. I fully expect this contract to be completed by the end of next week at the absolute latest.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

KCP should be the Lakers’ number one priority (besides Anthony Davis) this offseason. Coming off of a career best shooting season with a 46.7 field goal percentage and 58.4 true shooting percentage, KCP was a key part in the Lakers championship. He’s perfect for the “LeBron offense” in his ability to catch and shoot and can be a game changer when hot. The Lakers definitely need to focus on bringing him back.

Rajon Rondo

Rondo showed spurts of his former Celtics days throughout the finals. Is Rondo a must have back to the Lakers? Well, no. LA has verbally agreed to a deal for Dennis Schroder, but we’ll discuss that later. The point being, no, the Lakers do not NEED Rondo back on this team to repeat.

Avery Bradley

It’s looking like Bradley will test the waters of free agency. As that comes as a bit of a hit to our defense and perimeter scoring, I think the addition of Schroder will make up for the loss of shooting. I’m expecting Bradley to move on from LA this offseason.

Offseason Transactions

Although it hasn’t officially been announced, the Lakers have verbally agreed to a trade that would send Danny Green and their 28th pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Dennis Schroder. This is an exceptional trade for the Lakers, as they didn’t have a true starting point guard last season and into the playoffs.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ESPN story on the Lakers acquiring guard Dennis Schroder in a deal with Oklahoma City: <a href="https://t.co/VlF4LYi3Mh">https://t.co/VlF4LYi3Mh</a></p>&mdash; Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) <a href="https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1328018979177312256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

This will most likely be one of the only trades that LA plans on doing, unless they decide on whether they want to put together a package for Kyle Kuzma or sign him to a new deal.

Check out some possible packages for Kuzma here.

Who to Target

Danilo Gallinari

Gallinari would be an incredible fit for the Lakers. The team was very streaky in their shooting on a night-to-night basis, often struggling on their perimeter shooting. Gallinari shot 40.5% from deep last year and averaged 18.7 points per game. He would also be the perfect catch-and-shoot candidate to LeBron. Pair this up with KCP and Dennis Schroder and you have a recipe for success.

PG: Dennis Schroder

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SF: Danilo Gallinari

PF: LeBron James

C: Anthony Davis

Serge Ibaka

If the Lakers are able to get Ibaka, they will have the best starting 5 in the league.

PG: Dennis Schroder

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

SF: LeBron James

PF: Serge Ibaka

C: Anthony Davis

With the floor spread like this, LeBron has unlimited options. This gives him the option to run the offense and have his ideal five man out offense, making the defense focus on so many different scoring options. Ibaka shot 38.5% from deep last season.

This also gives the Lakers an incredible big man tandem. Both Davis and Ibaka are phenomenal post defenders, averaging a total of 4.5 blocks a game combined over their career. They can also pick and choose when Ibaka would be better at center and Davis at power forward.

Other Notable Options

What’s Next?

With the NBA starting on December 22, a mere 71 days after the last game of the NBA Finals, the Lakers will need to rest up and prepare for their next challenge. All of Laker Nation is wanting a repeat. We want to see LeBron win his fifth ring. If this offseason goes anything like listed above, I’d say the Lakers have a very strong chance of repeating and bringing home their 18th title.

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