JaVale McGee Speaks to Danny Green About Being in Quarantine

(Image/Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

On March 19, the Los Angeles Lakers announced publicly that two players had tested positive for COVID-19. Widely known as the Coronavirus.

The two unnamed players, along with the rest of the roster and staff were placed into quarantine. They were already doing so as the NBA suspended its season on March 11 due to the concerns of the virus spreading among players. But the levels of seriousness stepped up a level with the Lakers’ recent statement.

Danny Green hosts a podcast called Inside the Green Room, along with friend and journalist, Harrison Sanford. On March 21, both Green and Sanford hosted an episode speaking to numerous NBA players about the league’s suspension and being in isolation.

One of those players was Lakers center, JaVale McGee. When asking about whether he has distanced himself from the basketball season, in terms of winning a Championship, McGee opened up about it being a rare opportunity to rest.

“I’m on vacation, I’m not gonna lie. They’re literally forcing us to do nothing. I’m trying, for at least this week of quarantine, trying to take advantage of that. To where I can really just chill and do nothing. We don’t have this opportunity ever in our lives. We’re working out every day, we’re in the gym, we’re travelling. We’re just always doing something.”

JaVale McGee

However, the 32-year-old did stress the importance of staying prepared as it is unknown as to when NBA basketball will return. Stating that he’s very much got a week-to-week mindset whilst in isolation.

We have the vision of the future being just more isolation, but what if they’re like ‘oh we’ve found a cure’ next week and the season starts in another week. I’ll be like at least we’ve got a week to workout, at least I wasn’t just focused on other things.

JaVale McGee

Check out the full episode where JaVale McGee’s segment is from the very start up to approximately 15 minutes in. Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors, Rudy Gay of the San Antonio Spurs, and Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings also feature.

Rebirth of the Big Man: How the Lakers and Bucks Are Bringing Back the Big

(Image/Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

After years of ascending small-ball, the Association’s best are winning with size.

The last 20 years of NBA basketball can be seen broadly as a process of reorienting the focus of play from the low post to the perimeter – specifically to the three-point line. The NBA in the 1990s was a brutal place, where “freedom of movement” did not really exist and intimidating defensive bigs took sadistic glee in physically punishing anyone who dared attack their baskets.

The most common strategy NBA teams employed to deal with those bigs was isolation offense. The two general options featured either a countering big large and skilled enough to take the punishment and score anyway (Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson), or a smaller player who could operate in space while the bigs manipulated the illegal defense rules to clear the paint (Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller).

Beginning in the early 2000s the league decided to actively discourage isolation ball, particularly from the post. Anxious to prop up viewership after Jordan’s second retirement and faced with a seemingly unstoppable post player in O’Neal, the league reasoned that loosening up the ball and refocusing play toward the perimeter would make the game more exciting for fans.

(Image/Andrew Bernstein/Getty Images)

First to go was the illegal defense, changes to which permitted partial help positions that fell short of a double team, effectively legalizing zone defense for the first time in the NBA. The variety of additional defensive coverages this rule change allowed made scoring in isolation from the post significantly harder. Then came the outlawing of hand checks and the freedom of movement rules, both designed to give perimeter players the room to run freewheeling motion offenses.

The collection of new defensive rules made post-ups with bulky centers a less attractive and less efficient option on offense, even in the presence of a mismatch. The consequence was that when elite teams – eg the LeBron James-era Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors – chose to go small and space the floor with a bevy of strong wings rather than play traditional bigs, teams who did play those bigs were exposed on defense and unable to compensate offensively.

The center position became smaller, quicker, and emphasized switchability over rim protection on the defensive end. On offense, former back-to-the-basket bigs found themselves required to stand in the corner or the “dunker spot” as floor spacers while their ball-handlers attacked the rim. Those who were unable to space effectively found they had little left to contribute.

Collectively, these changes paved the way for the brand of maximally spaced, three-point gunning, wing-dominant basketball we have seen in the association for most of the last decade. In the process, they banished the kind of slow, bruising defensive big so popular in the 90s and 00s. Guys like Roy Hibbert and Timofey Mozgov, once important pieces on contending teams, found the market for their services wither and die in the space of two years.

Offense

As mentioned above, the necessary thing for a modern big to provide on offense is spacing. Spacing in the new NBA generally comes with the connotation of three-point shooting, but that need not be the case. Non-shooting lob threats such as Javale McGee and Jarrett Allen have leveraged their length and athleticism to space the floor in the third, vertical dimension rather than laterally toward the three-point line.

There is a simple reason why a pure lob threat can be impactful in the NBA today in a way that a more skilled back-to-the-basket scorer who lacks athleticism cannot; offenses no longer begin in the post. Initiating the offense from the post position allows 20 years’ worth of rule changes to work against it.

It is much more efficient to penetrate from the perimeter, where the rules are friendlier to the offensive player, and then allow the big to read the defensive help and act as a finisher. Regardless, a plausible big on a successful NBA team must be able to either step out to the three-point line or be a lob threat and elite finisher from the screen and roll.

(Image/Getty Images)

The Lakers have gone all-in on the latter approach, sacrificing more shooting from the 5 positions in exchange for athletically gifted finishers. They are able to do so because both McGee and Dwight Howard are significant lob threats and skilled finishers around the basket from the bounce pass. The offense rarely runs through them, but they make themselves essential by expanding the variety as well as the location of passes a ball-handler can make.

Anthony Davis provides yet another degree of complexity as he is a finishing threat from the pocket pass, lob, or three-point line. LeBron James, with the potential to shoot or drive from all three levels, finds that he regularly has several shooters and a lob threat/finisher from which to select his preferred assist. Regardless of who provides the help, he is always one pass from a good shot.

The Bucks, alternatively, have focused on the shooting big approach with players like Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova. Uniquely in their case, Giannis Antetokounmpo is properly classified (for now) as a non-shooting big but is also their primary ball-handler. As a result, the Bucks have found it convenient to play a 5-out offense. They trust Antetokounmpo’s superior physical gifts to break down the defense and give him an array of three-point shooters to choose from based on the source of the help defense.

Defense

The defensive end of the floor is the most important for bigs. As analytics gurus since Dean Oliver have pointed out, even in the days of the illegal defense, it was never necessary for a successful offensive team to have a dominant big. Elite perimeter players can score just as well.

On the contrary, almost every great historical defense has been anchored by an intimidating big. The reason is obvious; the two most efficient shots in the game are layups/dunks and foul shots, and a skilled defensive big significantly reduces the number of such shots an offense can produce.

(Image/Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

The problem, as illustrated, is that with the increased efficiency of the three-point shot in the last ten years such a player must be able to reasonably contest the three-point line as well as rim protect. If the big cannot do both, the defense has to find some way to compensate on the perimeter in order to keep him from being played off the floor.

The Bucks are able to play a slower-footed big like Lopez on defense in a way most teams would not be. They can do so because of the absurd length and athleticism across the remainder of their lineup. Their array of wings can cover the necessary space on the perimeter to allow Lopez to use his talents and timing as a rim protector without being taken advantage of by perimeter players with too much regularity. The fact that they can make their rotations more quickly means they either don’t have to switch quite so frequently or are able to recover faster.

The Lakers, by contrast, have been blessed with three proper bigs who have the combination of quickness and length needed to contain ball-handlers in Davis, Howard, and McGee. In important game situations throughout the season, the Lakers have trusted those three in 1v1 situations against smaller players and found that the switch is not systematically exploitable.

The Formula

The scarcity of the true big in recent years is largely due to the rapidly changing nature of the position. It is hard enough to last 5 or 10 years in the grueling climate of the NBA, but to be asked to do so from a position the demands of which are shifting in ways many players are unable to accommodate seem downright cruel. Teams have found it easier to play small and diversify skill-sets than to have to pick their poison with players who are more physically gifted but less versatile.

The Lakers and Bucks have taken two distinct but related approaches to solving these problems which deliver a solid collective blueprint for how to play with real size in the modern NBA.

(Image/Natheniel Butler/Getty Images)

The Bucks use their shooting bigs to provide maximum space for Antetokounmpo on offense while covering for their perimeter defensive deficiencies with the combination of elite size and athleticism at the other positions. The Lakers, meanwhile, have chosen to employ multiple switchable rim-protectors for maximum defensive versatility, while compensating for their lack of shooting bigs with several elite lob threats who provide vertical spacing.

Both choices have benefits and drawbacks. The Bucks are far and away from the best in the NBA at defending the rim, in part because they always have their primary rim protector somewhere in the vicinity. The Lakers conversely allow fewer three-pointers than the Bucks because their switchable bigs are able to deter otherwise-good shots.

For all their stylistic differences, the essential commonality is that these two teams have found a way to play big without being overextended by jump-shooting, wing-heavy lineups of the sort that have been the most successful in recent years. The fact that the two teams doing this most effectively are the two best teams in the league by every commonly used metric is suggestive.

There are a number of cogent arguments to be made that the NBA ought to consider rule changes to revive some of the skilled big play lost in the last 20 years. Even in the absence of those changes, though, it seems that perhaps – like many dinosaurs – the NBA center is not dying out so much as simply evolving. As more bigs are brought into the league to specifically fill the strategic niches exposed by teams like the Lakers and Bucks, playing larger may well find itself in vogue once again.


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Who Should Be the Lakers’ Starting Center?

(Image/Chris Elise/NBAE)

The Los Angeles Lakers have two starting-caliber centers, in JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, on their roster. Which leaves the question, who is going to win the starting center spot?

In early July, the Lakers were sitting on cloud 9. They had signed numerous starting-caliber free agents, and had padded the roster with fantastic depth and experience.

One of those key free-agent signings was DeMarcus Cousins. Having spent the majority of his career with the Sacramento Kings, Cousins had proven to be one of the most dominant big men in the NBA. However, the Lakers were able to acquire Cousins at a reasonable price due to his recent injury history.

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(Image/NBA.com)

The Lakers received encouraging signs from Cousins during the off-season. He lost a considerable amount of weight and had ample time to rest and get healthy. Then tragedy struck. Cousins suffered a serious knee injury which effectively ended his season before it had even begun. But the purple and gold were still in a relatively strong position as they had already re-signed last years starting center JaVale McGee.

With McGee, the Lakers get a familiar face who showed growth last season and an ability to be an elite shot blocker. However, with Cousins out for potentially the entire season, Pelinka and Co. needed to add depth at the 5, fast.

In enters former 3-time defensive player of the year, Dwight Howard. While Howard is not the superstar center he once was during his time with the Orlando Magic (2004-12), he still can contribute to a contending team.

With both McGee and Howard on the books to cover the center position, many have been discussing who will start for the purple and gold this coming season.

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(Image/FanSided)

JaVale McGee

To most, JaVale McGee is the obvious choice. He held the position last season and did a good job for the majority, whilst starting. With McGee, you get one of the most athletic big men in the league. Standing at 7-feet tall, he is extremely agile, energetic and can impressively get up and down the court with ease.

While he may not be the most skillful, or have the highest basketball IQ, he is capable of slamming down every single lob that comes his way. He can block shots at a borderline All-Star level, and when locked in, he is going to give you non-stop effort.

McGee, when he was locked in last season, looked like a borderline Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Swatting shots left, right and center, he was certainly a big asset to the purple and gold.

Although, with McGee, the good can sometimes be outweighed by the bad.
While he is capable of doing all the above, it all depends on whether he is tuned in or not. An example of this can be seen last season. McGee seemed locked in early on in the season, but when LeBron James‘ injury occurred, McGee’s production went off a cliff.

In his defense, he did suffer pneumonia in December of last season, which is an extremely severe condition. But upon returning he just didn’t seem the same for the remainder of the campaign.

McGee is also likely to make several frustrating decisions each night, which leaves both fans and spectators alike shaking their heads. This can be legitimised by his numerous appearances on “Shaqtin’ a Fool”.

Is having McGee in the starting line-up worth the time and effort? Will we see the shot-blocking borderline Defensive Player of the Year candidate, or are we going to see the lackadaisical, comes in and out of games without making much of an impact, McGee?

If the Lakers get the latter JaVale McGee, then his time in the starting line up will be very short-lived. This is now championship basketball. Title or bust appears to be the expectation in Lakerland.

If he can maintain his focus and lasers in on being the best version of himself he can be, then McGee could be odds on favorite to win the starting job.

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(Image/ Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard

The former Laker, turned villain, is once again a member of the purple and gold to the disgust and anger of a faction of Lakers Nation. The hate is somewhat understandable. During a pivotal and franchise-altering period for the Lakers, Howard departed a mere season after his trade from the Orlando Magic.

Howard leaving left the Lakers high and dry as Kobe Bryant was recovering from a torn Achilles and Steve Nash was fighting an injury that would eventually end his illustrious career. It has taken the best part of a decade for the Lakers to get over his betrayal and now, the former 3-time Defensive Player of the Year has returned.

Why should Howard be considered for the Lakers’ starting spot? Well, while he is not the uber-athlete and dominant big man he used to be, he still has some mileage left in him. Let’s not forget, this is the same guy who was the best player in the Magic-Lakers NBA Finals series of 2009.

While Howard isn’t a 20-point a night guy anymore, he is still a walking double-double. He can still be categorised as an elite rebounder, and while he isn’t the premier shot-blocker of his past, he is still able to disrupt play around the rim forcing opposing players to alter their shot.

Let’s also not forget, Dwight Howard was one of the scariest pick-and-roll big men in the entire NBA once upon a time. Watching Howard set a bone-crunching screen and rolling to the basket was the stuff of nightmares for opposing players.

If Howard can get back to a fraction of that level, he could be very effective alongside one of the best pick-and-roll passers in the game, in LeBron James. Having reportedly losing a considerable amount of weight to be in peak physical shape for the coming season, we might just be getting motivated, in-shape and humbler Howard.

His championship and big moment experience could prove valuable in a playoff series, and could very well be the difference between winning and losing.

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(Image/Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

So, who should be the starting center for the Lakers?

Verdict: Dwight Howard

This could be an unpopular opinion, but Dwight Howard should be the starting center for the 2018/19 season. A few reasons justify this decision. Those being:

  • Dwight Howard with starters minutes on the Charlotte Hornets through the 2017/18 season averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds, per game. That season he only missed one game, featuring in 81. Even in his prime, JaVale McGee has never been able to average close to that in points or rebounds.
  • If Howard is in shape and has some bounce left in his legs, he is going to get a ridiculous amount of open looks with the level of attention that LeBron James and Anthony Davis are going to receive.
  • While Howard can’t shoot, LeBron and Davis can, so they are going to keep the opposing defense honest, allowing for him to destroy people in the paint.
  • Howard’s big-game experience will be extremely beneficial to the Lakers when it comes to closing out games both in the regular season and playoffs. I wouldn’t be confident that McGee would have that level to his game he can call upon night after night.
  • With Kyle Kuzma on the bench, having McGee join Kuzma makes the most sense from a chemistry point of view. With both, you have pre-existing chemistry that would be extremely beneficial in that 2nd unit. Add the likes of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso to that and you have a group of players who know how to play together and know each other’s tendencies. With that grouping of players, you could have one of the most potent 2nd units in the NBA.

The possibility of Dwight Howard getting back close to an All-Star level is too much to ignore. The odds are stacked against him being Orlando Howard, but you have to give him a chance to get back to that level because if he can get close, the Lakers would be getting a very valuable contributor to a team that already has championship aspirations.

I firmly believe it will be a battle in training camp between Howard and McGee. It could go either way and McGee has a real chance to stake his claim for the spot, I wouldn’t be shocked if he was given the nod, but the potential of Howard could be too much to ignore.

Keep it simple, Dwight; play a role, work hard, win a championship, and ride off into the sunset.

By Jonathan Kiernan (@KiernanJonathan)


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The Lakers Build a Contender Without Kawhi

(Image/USA Today Sports)

In the early hours of July 6, Kawhi Leonard shocked the NBA world and opted to join the Los Angeles Clippers, over the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers. Leonard signed a 3-year, $103 million deal with the Lakers’ cross-city rivals. The Clippers paired him with Paul George, of whom they traded for to secure Leonard’s signature.

The Lakers were holding out in the hope that Leonard would lean towards the purple and gold, instead Pelinka and Co. have been forced to take an alternative route, in an attempt to build a championship contender.

Almost instantly after the Kawhi news, we were bombarded with numerous Laker signings. It’s safe to say, so far, the front office deserve praise. They’ve built a deep, talented roster that is more than capable of pushing for championship honours. Whether they get over the line is another thing, but they should certainly be in the mix.

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(Image/Toronto Raptors/Twitter)

Danny Green

32-year-old Danny Green was the Lakers’ first signing after being dealt the Kawhi Leonard news. Green has signed a 2-year, $30 million deal. He was the premier ‘3 and D’ player left on the market, and it was expected that the Dallas Mavericks would offer a larger, lengthier deal, but the purple and gold secured their man.

The 6-foot-6 guard won the second NBA Championship of his career last season, whilst at the Toronto Raptors. On his way to championship glory, he posted averages of 10.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, whilst shooting an incredible .455% from 3-point range. Throughout his career, Green is a .404% shooter from beyond the arc so he does perform at a consistent rate in that category.

Defensively he plays hard too. A solid addition on both ends of the court.

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be returning to the Lakers on a 2-year, $16 million deal. The shooting guard out of Georgia does split opinion within the Laker community, and rightly so. Some days he can be lights out from a scoring standpoint and really hold his own defensively, then other days he can simply disappear and barely contribute.

It is easy to forget that Caldwell-Pope is still only 26-years old. In the past few seasons for the purple and gold, he has been developing as a player and understanding his role on the team. In his first season, the Lakers signed him to a 1-year, $18 million deal, and now he will be returning at a considerably less, more reasonable, rate.

If he can actively contribute off the bench, he can be a useful piece. Knocking down open 3s and locking in defensively at a consistent rate will result in a successful season from KCP.

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(Image/USA Today Sports)

JaVale McGee

The 2-time NBA Champion, JaVale McGee, was one of the only bright sparks in an all-but miserable season last time out for the Lakers. He played hard and filled a void at the center position. Suffering pneumonia mid-way through the season slowed him down unfortunately, but overall it really isn’t a surprise to see the 31-year-old return to Los Angeles.

Playing 20+ minutes for the first time since the 2010-11 season, McGee averaged a career-high 12 points per game last season. He offered a strong rebounding game, along with interior defense, where he finished 5th for the most blocked shots in the league.

It may be too much to expect McGee to play considerable minutes in a starting role, but in a sensible center rotation he can definitely be an effective player.

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(Image/Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Quinn Cook

Quinn Cook has quite a remarkable NBA story. From going undrafted in 2015, to learning his trade in the then NBA D-League, before signing a 10-day deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, then earning a spot in the Golden State Warriors‘ rotation, to winning an NBA Championship in 2018.

Last season for the Warriors, Cook featured in 74 regular season games, averaging 6.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He also featured in 17 playoff games, including the NBA Finals, which will provide further postseason experience to the Lakers’ roster. He has signed a 2-year, $6 million deal.

Throughout his short NBA career so far, Cook has established himself as a solid spot-up shooter. Averaging .418% from 3-point land over 121 games. As a point guard that is just 6-foot-1, he does come with his defensive worries but his offensive game is why he was brought in. After-all, players like Green, Caldwell-Pope, etc, can be moved over to cover his defensive workload.

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(Image/USA Today Sports)

DeMarcus Cousins

For many years DeMarcus Cousins has been linked with the Lakers, as a star player. Well, Cousins now joins the purple and gold on a 1-year, $3.5 million deal. Since suffering an Achilles injury in January 2018 whilst at the New Orleans Pelicans, the 28-year-old has been on the long road to recovery. For the 2018-19 season, he opted to join the Golden State Warriors on a $5.3 million, mid-level exception.

It was expected that Cousins would be out until early 2019, at the very least. Cousins did make his comeback ahead of schedule, featuring in his Warriors debut in January 2019. Through the remainder of the campaign the 6-foot-11 center played 30 regular season games, averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks. In the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs Cousins tore his quadricep, which ruled him out until game 1 of the Finals.

Before injuring his Achilles, DeMarcus Cousins was undoubtedly an elite talent with the Sacramento Kings, averaging 25+ points, 12 rebounds, along with a host of assists, steals, and blocks. He is a low risk, high reward acquisition. The Lakers getting him for less than the Warriors signed him for is a steal. Plus, an Achilles injury is commonly a 2-year injury, of which Cousins is nearing the end of.

With a full off-season under his belt, Cousins should be nearing 80% healthy. Even a partially fit Cousins should be able to contribute 15-20 points and 10 rebounds per game, you would think. Which would be more than enough for this Lakers team, alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Co. If he nears 100% fitness, he could very well be the 3rd star in the team.

Fingers crossed he can stay healthy!

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(Image/Lake Show Life)

Rajon Rondo

Returning alongside Caldwell-Pope and McGee, is Rajon Rondo. The 33-year-old point guard has signed a 2-year, minimum deal with the Lakers. Last season he posted averages of 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1.2 steals.

He endured an up-and-down season last time out, where at times he looked a solid piece within the Lakers roster. Namely in the Christmas Day win at Golden State, and with his buzzer-beater winner at his former home, TD Garden. But for the majority of, he was underwhelming. Defensively he was a liability and he appeared to simply lack effort in the latter part of the season.

Nonetheless, the Lakers have opted to bring Rondo back. The point guard pool in this free agency period was sparse, so he does fill a void. Additionally, a recent report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports suggests that the Lakers have intentions of starting LeBron James at point guard for the upcoming season. As a result, Rondo could feature off the bench under limited minutes.

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i(Image/NBA.com)

Alex Caruso

Much like Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso‘s NBA journey is a feel-good story. After going undrafted in 2016, Caruso hit the then D-League with the Oklahoma City Blue, before securing the Lakers’ first ever 2-way contract, splitting his time between the NBA team and the G-League affiliate team, the South Bay Lakers.

After lighting up the G-League during the 2017-18 season, but failing to impress in the NBA, Caruso was handed another 2-way deal for the 2018-19 campaign. It was in this season where the 6-foot-4 guard impressed. In 25 games he averaged 9.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1 steal, on .455% shooting. From 3-point range, Caruso shot at a blistering .480% rate. On April 5, 2019, he recorded a career-high 32 points in a victory against the Clippers.

In his short time with the Lakers, Caruso has become a fan favourite and rightly so. He plays hard, and is clearly talented. For the upcoming 2019-20 season, Alex Caruso has signed a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. With it comes another opportunity to shine, this time on what is expected to be a winning team.

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(Image/Basketball Insiders)

Avery Bradley

After playing the first part of last season with the Clippers, and the second with the Memphis Grizzlies, Avery Bradley was recently waived and hit the free agent market. Almost instantly, the Lakers snapped Bradley up to a 2-year, $9.7 million deal.

Being highly regarding as a top-level ‘3 and D’ player throughout the majority of his career, Bradley has experienced a decline in recent years. After excelling with the Boston Celtics between 2010-2017, he was traded to the Detroit Pistons, where he continued his impressive play. But then injuries hit and he was moved onto the Clippers. This stalled the 28-year-old guard’s progress.

However, in the latter part of last season, with the Grizzlies, Bradley appeared to regain some form. In 14 games, he averaged 16.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2 assists, on .463% shooting (.384% from 3). Even through the last few years where his play has dropped, his defense hasn’t. Through his 11-year career so far, Avery Bradley has built a reputation for being one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. The Lakers were in clear need of a defensive wing, and they have their man. If Bradley can regain his offensive spark, the Lakers may have grabbed a steal.

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Troy Daniels

Troy Daniels was the 1st player that the Lakers signed this off-season, as they were waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency decision. The general consensus through the last decade-and-a-half has been to surround LeBron James with shooters. With that, Daniels fits the bill.

The 27-year-old guard is a .400% career 3-point shooter. He will most likely see limited minutes behind a deep, talent Lakers roster, but when called upon, Daniels should do a job. He has signed a 1-year, $2.1 million deal.

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Jared Dudley

33-year-old Jared Dudley was the 2nd player that the Lakers turned towards, whilst waiting for Leonard. Signing a 1-year, $2.6 million deal, Dudley adds a smart, veteran presence to the locker room.

He may not be the flashiest of players, but veterans like Dudley are a pivotal to the success of any NBA team. He will provide a calm head to a team that includes many strong personalities, who could clash from time-to-time.

On the court, Dudley is capable of contributing. In 20 minutes with the Brooklyn Nets last season, he posted averages of 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Defensively he is tough, and can certainly hold his own.


The Lakers’ roster so far:

Rajon Rondo (G), Alex Caruso (G), Quinn Cook (G), Danny Green (G), Avery Bradley (G), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G), Troy Daniels (G), Talen Horton-Tucker (G/F), LeBron James (F), Kyle Kuzma (F), Jared Dudley (F), Anthony Davis (F/C), DeMarcus Cousins (C), JaVale McGee (C).


By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)