Despite Failing To Acquire Kawhi Leonard, Frank Vogel Says Lakers Have ‘Pieces To Compete For A Championship’

New Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel speaks to media at a press conference at UCLA Health Training Center on May 20, 2019 in El Segundo, California.
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After suffering a huge disappointment in LeBron James’ first year wearing the Purple and Gold, the Los Angeles Lakers became more aggressive in upgrading their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason. Despite failing to secure a deal before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers still succeeded to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis this summer by sending a trade package including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. However, the Lakers ended up being snubbed by their top target on the free agency market – reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

After helping the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA championship title, Kawhi Leonard pushed through with his plan of playing for his hometown team, but instead of forming “Big Three” with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers, he decided to join their Staples Center co-tenant, the Los Angeles Clippers. However, Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel doesn’t seem to be concerned with their failure to add a third superstar on their roster. In an interview with Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Vogel expressed strong confidence that the Lakers have enough “pieces” to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season.

“We have the pieces to compete for a championship. To have expectations that it’s all going to come together immediately might be reaching a little bit. I’m sure we’ll have some bumps in the road. But hopefully as these guys gel … we have a number of guys with terrific resumes, but they have to learn each other. And they’ll have to learn each other quickly. Then we’ll be in the mix for the regular season and positioning ourselves for a playoff run. You just never know how quickly that process is going to play out.”

It’s easy to understand why Coach Frank Vogel is very optimistic about the Lakers’ chance of winning the NBA championship title next season. Though they failed to add a third superstar on their roster, the Lakers still managed to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a quality supporting cast this summer. After Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers, the Lakers used their salary cap space to sign DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Troy Daniels, and Quinn Cook.

They also brought back some of their own free agents like Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, and Alex Caruso. After Cousins suffered an injury, the Lakers immediately found his replacement by giving Dwight Howard a non-guaranteed contract. Howard may have an unpleasant history with the Lakers, but according to a previous article from The Inquisitr, Coach Frank Vogel believes that the veteran center is now ready to fully embrace his new role and is returning to Los Angeles with a different mindset.