The Los Angeles Lakers dominated in the NBA playoffs last season. While many people referred to the bubble playoffs as a “Mickey Mouse ring,” it was one of the hardest finals ever played in NBA history. Through a conglomerate of racial injustice, global pandemic, and depression/anxiety, the NBA willed through a whole playoff series. In the end, the Los Angeles Lakers came through with their new head coach, Frank Vogel, giving LeBron James his fourth NBA ring. Now, the Lakers’ off-season 2020 has brought even more talent into the roster.
Clearly, the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James worked for the Lakers. The two of them dominated, even when one of them wasn’t on the court with each other. Last season, the only problems they had were depth in their roster. However, the Lakers’ off-season 2020 was spent building up to another title for this year. Rob Pelinka added more talent to an already loaded roster. Check out the Lakers’ impressive off-season with a mentality of repeating the NBA championship.
Dennis Schroder: In the past 2020 NBA draft, the Lakers selected Jaden McDaniels with the 28th pick. However, that pick was selected for the Oklahoma City Thunder and packaged with Danny Green to receive Dennis Schroder. Danny Green missed big shots in the NBA Finals for the Lakers, including a game-winner in game five. The return for Green/McDaniels, as Dennis Schroder, was a phenomenal trade for the Lakers, who needed point guard help. Last season, Schroder averaged 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and four assists per game. He shot the best he ever has in a season from the field at 46.9% and the best from distance shooting at 38.5%.
Montrezl Harrell: The Los Angeles Lakers signed on big-man Montrezl Harrell this off-season to a two-year, $18.9 million contract. Clearly, this signing was a big one for the Lakers, considering they convinced Harrell to switch teams in the same city as the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. Harrell averaged 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game last season on 58% shooting. Harrell is a great defender too, adding 2.5 defensive win shares and a positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus last season.
Wesley Matthews: The Lakers brought on Wesley Matthews, the 11-year veteran, to a one-year $3.6 million deal. Wesley Matthews played a bench role to the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Matthews is a career 38% shooter from three-point range and he recorded 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game last season. Matthews is a decent “3 and D” type player, as he put up 2.4 Defensive Win Shares last season and has a positive career defensive box plus/minus.
Marc Gasol: The Lakers brought on Marc Gasol for a two-year $5.2 million deal in the recent off-season. While Marc Gasol has regressed on the offensive end, he can still add value as a rim protector for the Lakers. Over the past three seasons, Gasol has had a defensive box plus/minus over 2.0 points in each of those seasons. This season, he has recorded his highest block percentage too, at 6.2%. He can add experience and interior defense for the Lakers team.
LeBron James/Anthony Davis: The Lakers locked up their star power forward, Anthony Davis, to a five-year $190 million deal and their best player, LeBron James, to a two-year $85 million extension this off-season. This was probably the best move the Lakers made in the off-season, by locking up their star players. LeBron and AD both finished in the top six for MVP voting last season, and Davis finished second in voting for DPOY. This move needs no explanation, as the two are the best duo in the NBA.
Markieff Morris: The Lakers signed Markieff Morris to another one-year deal, worth $2.3 million. After playing just 14 games for the Lakers last year on his third NBA team, Morris proved enough to the Lakers to keep him around. Morris averaged 18.6 minutes per game in the playoffs for the Lakers and averaged 5.9 points, three rebounds, and one assist per game.
If Laker nation wasn’t happy enough after winning the NBA Finals in the bubble, they should be happier now. The additions of Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and keeping their current stars was an excellent decision for the recent NBA champions. They had depth issues last year, but they have seemed to fix that with their additions this off-season.