The Los Angeles Lakers are having success early with their duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Is the rest of their core good enough to help win a title?
The Los Angeles Lakers are clearly among the best teams in the NBA with their duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The question is whether the pieces around them are good enough to support them in winning their first title in a decade.
The Lakers truly do have solid pieces around their star duo in sharpshooter Danny Green, solid centers in Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and rising star Kyle Kuzma. While these players are great options to fill out the rotation, several spots could use some help.
Teams led by LeBron James historically are very active at the trade deadline. For years now, teams will make major moves at the deadline to help push them to the next level when it comes to championship contention. For this upcoming trade deadline, although it’s early in the season, two positions may need some upgrades.
The first is point guard, which is thin due to injury. Currently, the Lakers have Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook, and Alex Caruso. While all three of these players are solid, none of them are star point guards.
Rondo is the most seasoned veteran of that group, but he is currently injured and has a history of being injured throughout regular seasons in the past. If Rondo can stay healthy, he is certainly capable of being the Lakers’ starting point guard in a deep playoff run, but that is a big if.
Another position the Lakers may need to upgrade if they wish to win a title is the backup wing. As of now, that title belongs to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Backing up LeBron James, Caldwell-Pope has been less than stellar this season. In 32.2 minutes per game, he is averaging 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds. What is even bigger of an issue for him is that he is shooting 33.3 percent from the field and just 20.0 percent from deep. That isn’t going to get it done on a championship team.
Don’t be surprised if Los Angeles looks to shop point guards and wings at the trade deadline. There will be plenty of teams out there looking to part ways with quality players in return for future draft assets. With the Lakers being in win-now mode, knowing their window with LeBron is only getting smaller, they will be a team that should be willing to move assets for the right price. Would they make a small move for one of the positions or drastic moves?
Overall, the current Lakers roster is capable of winning a championship. Nearly any LeBron James team is capable. However, there’s a good chance they will be making moves throughout the season to improve.
The Western Conference is too good to stand pat and test your luck in the playoffs with a roster that has small holes in it. Expect the Los Angeles Lakers to look different when the 2020 NBA Playoffs are underway.