Before Space Jam 2 hit theatres sometime in 2021, Anthony Davis will be making his decision as a free agent whether to stay with the Lakers or find a different path to the finals.
Anthony Davis said on media day last week that he “just wants to focus on this year”, which many took as code for “we’ll see how this experiment works out and if it doesn’t I wanna get out before the boat sinks”.
Either way, the clock has started for the Lebron era Lakers to produce results and prove that, with enough star power, even the malfunctioning Lakers can be returned to their former glory.
After a failed attempt before the trade deadline during the 2018/2019 season to bring Anthony Davis into the Lakers, the deal was finally made in the off-season (to no one’s surprise).
Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, accompanied by three first-round picks, were sent to the Pelicans in exchange for the golden goose.
The pairing of Lebron James and Anthony Davis was so threatening, Kawhi Leonard felt obligated to challenge their supremacy.
By teaming up with Paul George and setting up shop in the same city, Kawhi presented a testament to the historic LA basketball rivalry, and a staunch challenge to Davis and Lebron’s claim to primacy.
Provided that their key players stay healthy, the 2019/20 season is looking fairly positive for the Lakers.
According to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, the Lakers starting five will consist of Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, Lebron James, Anthony Davis and JaVale Magee.
Despite rumours earlier in the year that James would be playing point guard, it seems clear after a recent training session that Rondo will be in the driver’s seat for the Lakers.
Kyle Kuzma still hasn’t been cleared to play after his foot injury but stated on media day that he is back in the gym.
The Laker’s second unit consists of Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard hopes to launch his comeback with the Lakers, after being brought in to replace DeMarcus Cousins after his unfortunate ACL injury has put him out indefinitely.
Alex Caruso enters this season with high expectations after months of being a target for Twitter memes in the offseason.
However, these line-ups will most likely be more fluid, with head coach Frank Vogel trying out different starters.
Avery Bradley has been trialled as a starter during training alongside Davis, James and Caldwell-Pope, and it appears that Fogel will use McGee and Howard interchangeably.
Frank Vogel’s Indiana Pacers fought nail and tooth, overwhelming their opponents with unshakeable defence, eventually coming toe to toe with the Lebron James led Miami Heat in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals.
With Vogel’s trademark physicality most likely being an emphasis for the Lakers this year, defensive wings like Danny Green and rim protectors like JaVale Magee and Dwight Howard are sure to flourish under this system.
However, this system may also mean fewer minutes for James, an injury to their undisputed leader could be devastating to their season.
Now, with the offseason drama of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka hopefully behind them, Frank Vogel and the Lakers can hopefully move forward this season and convert high expectations into wins.
Best Player: Lebron is still the King of LA….for now.
Golden Nugget Player: Superman Returns? Hopefully, that’d make a cool headline. But seriously if Dwight Howard behaves and commits to the system, there’s no reason he can’t do well this season.