The Los Angeles Lakers have been at the center of the NBA rumor mill for much of the league’s offseason so far. First, team executive Magic Johnson resigned and then, the team had a tumultuous coaching search amid multiple reports of behind-the-scenes turmoil. This happened after the team failed to reach the playoffs in LeBron James’ first year in Los Angeles.
Then, the team was able to add Anthony Davis as a second star alongside James in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. However, the Lakers were not able to land Kawhi Leonard as the superstar forward chose to sign with the rival Los Angeles Clippers. Leonard’s delay in his decision meant that the Lakers missed out on any other major free agents, although they went on to fill their roster with such players as Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee.
Now, there are reports about another change on how the Lakers will play next year, although it doesn’t involve a new player.
Per Yahoo Sports, citing league sources, the Lakers will start James at point guard next season. James for most of his career has played the small forward position, and while the offense has often run through him, both with the Lakers and on his previous teams, James has not often been officially designated as a point guard.
The report said that James will start in the backcourt along with Green, who the Lakers signed away from Toronto Raptors. Davis will play one forward position, and Kyle Kuzma another.
Rondo and Lonzo Ball were the Lakers’ primary point guards last season, even when James sometimes brought the ball up on offense. Ball was traded to New Orleans in the Davis deal, and the Lakers have signed Quinn Cook and Alex Caruso, who are also point guards.
At 6-foot-8, James is unusually tall for a point guard, although Magic Johnson played the position during much of his playing career. The NBA, in recent years, has de-emphasized the importance of specific positions, and many teams use such star players as James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo to bring the ball up the floor, even if they aren’t traditional point guards.
The 34-year-old James is entering his 17th season in the league, having been drafted out of high school at age 17 in 2003. It will be the second year of his four-year contract with the Lakers that he signed in the summer of 2018.