LeBron James is now officially a part of the Los Angeles Lakers.
After agreeing to a mammoth 4-year, $153.4 million dollar with one of NBA’s most famed franchises (after choosing the best possible option from the top 5), James has made his mission clear: more NBA Championships.
In a bid to overcome the monolithic Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference, LeBron James has finally come out of his Eastern Conference zone after dominating it for well over a decade and now looks set to build a potentially title-winning squad around him.
But the questions still remain: How does he fit in? How will he play? Will he gel with Lonzo Ball? Will the young Lakers be able to adjust as per him? And some more.
The Lakers And Their New Additions:
With a young squad around LeBron James, it was only a matter of time that the Lakers began their shopping spree and added more talent around The King, so much so that he can at least think about building a championship-level squad by the turn of the year.
For that, the Lakers have added long-time LeBron nemesis Lance Stephenson, veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, tenacious center Javale McGee and signed a deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to bolster the squad and its 2nd unit.
The Positioning Of The Starting 5:
This is a tough one. So, let’s weigh in the options.
With LeBron as small forward and assuming that the young core of the Lakers isn’t traded off, the current squad will surely boast of a fast and intelligent game-play.
Lonzo and LeBron have an incredible game vision and passing talent.
Add that to LeBron’s scoring talent (he has mentioned that he’d like to play more off-the-ball this season, so expect his scoring stats to rise even more) supported by the young and dynamic Brandon Ingram, the Lakers can rely on these 3 to take up the attacking responsibilities.
For defense, it came as a rather pleasant surprise that LeBron James decided to add Lance Stephenson to the team (the guy famous for blowing air into his ear during a game and further on-court banter), so much so that multiple sources reported that LeBron said only 3 words (“I want you”) to Lance on the phone.
Further defensive responsibilities can be shared with Caldwell-Pope, who is a great two-way player and Rajon Rondo, the veteran shooting guard.
Even then, the common verdict among analysts is that Caldwell-Pope or Rondo will start with Ingram, Lonzo, McGee and James, with Stephenson, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma taking up the responsibility of being a reliable 2nd unit.
Theoretically, I don’t expect Rondo and Lonzo to start together but I do believe that Rondo will serve as a benchmark for Lonzo and he can learn a lot from the veteran.
The Balance Between Attack And Defense:
As usual, this will be the key for the Lakers to have a squad who’s in it for the long haul.
LeBron James has proven plenty of times that he’s an elite scorer, passer and defender so adding better back-court players around him who can boost the team’s defense will give him the added advantage that he had so desperately wanted in his stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Expecting this team to win the championship in its first season will be an unfair assessment and a juvenile opinion. This is a work in progress and will take time to flourish. But for now, rest assured and get ready to witness some scintillating basketball.
LeBron James is ready to lead the Lakers to glory days. Time for the rest of the NBA to play catch-up.
Image Credits: Google Images
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