The Los Angeles Lakers became the biggest winner of the 2018 NBA free agency after they succeeded to sign the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James. However, after acquiring James, the Lakers surrounded him with three non-shooters, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, and Rajon Rondo, which earned plenty of criticisms from the fans of Purple and Gold worldwide.
As most people think, LeBron James is more effective on the court when he’s surrounded by shooters. That’s one of the major reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the NBA Finals for four straight years. However, the Lakers’ goal is not only to reach the NBA Finals, but beat the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, as well. In a press conference, the Lakers general manager, Rob Pelinka, explained the team’s controversial offseason moves.
“We did not want to go out and just sign specialists, like, ‘Oh, this guy can just shoot.’ We wanted tough, two-way players that can defend with a level of toughness and also make shots,” Pelinka said, via Lakers Nation. “Listen, the road to an NBA championship has to go through the team that won last year. We all know the guys up north have a special group. But, one of the ways to attack what they have is with defensive toughness.”
Rob Pelinka revealed that the point of emphasis with their roster composition is to add depth, toughness, versatility, and high-IQ basketball players that will enable them to play fast. LeBron James is properly consulted with every move Pelinka and Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson made. The Lakers’ recent offseason moves were inspired by the versatile and defensive-minded Houston Rockets, the only NBA team who gave the defending champions a strong competition in the recent playoffs. If Chris Paul didn’t suffer an injury, most people believe the outcome of the Western Conference finals will be different.
However, Pelinka believes one of the Rockets’ biggest mistake was when they tried to play the Warriors in their own game which Lakers superstar LeBron James thinks is a “trap.” The Lakers have a strong belief that the elements they added to their roster will put them in an advantage against the Warriors and other powerhouse teams in the league. So far, it seems like Pelinka is confident with the talents the Lakers currently have. Only their performance in the 2018-19 NBA season can prove whether the Lakers made the right moves this offseason or not.