Summer has been marked by many trades in the NBA. The Eastern Conference has strengthened considerably and will be very promising, but we can´t ignore the team that the Los Angeles Lakers have built towards the new season. They have renewed themselves with veterans like Carmelo Anthony or Rajon Rondo, but also with other explosive players such as Russell Westbrook. Let´s analyze the new faces at the franchise from California.
LeBron and Carmelo Anthony will finally play together:
They were both drafted in 2003 from a class that included players like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. LeBron was the 1st pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Carmelo Anthony joined the Denver Nuggets as the 3rd pick.
They have both fantasized about playing sometime together in the same team since then, as they have already been teammates at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics. The time has finally come for them.
Lamelo´s career has had several ups and downs, but it seems like he has found some stability and regularity after his time with the Portland Trail Blazers. Does their reunion come too late? How would it have been to see them play together at their ‘prime’? These are some of the questions that will be answered throughout the season.
Russell Westbrook wants to consolidate himself at the Lakers:
Westbrook was traded to the Washington Wizards for John Wall after his time at the Houston Rockets, where his duo along with James Harden disappointed. The start of his adventure at the Wizards did not go as expected, as they became into one of the worst teams in the league despite the great stats by Bradley Beal.
The 2017 MVP comes to the LA Lakers after a single season in Washington. He has signed for just a year, as he does not want to give rise to any false hopes: “My vision, in this league, you understand this is a business. You just do your job, and that´s what I will continue to do”, said at a press conference. Westbrook wants to win a ring as soon as possible and that is why he has joined a super team.
The returns: Howard, Rondo and Ariza:
Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo return to the team that gave them the ring in 2020. The center left to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he averaged 7 points and 8.4 rebounds. Rajon Rondo did not have to move away from the city, as he joined the Clippers, but injuries depleted his season. On the other hand, Trevor Ariza also won the ring with the Lakers in 2009. The most traded player in the history of the NBA returns looking to repeat the feat.
Many could think that this is a geriatric team with these many veterans, as the Lakers have 6 out of the 12 oldest players in the league. Carmelo Anthony is 37; LeBron James, Marc Gasol and Trevor Ariza are 36; Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard are 35.
There are reasons to trust such a veteran roster, experience is a key part of this sport, but we also have to remember that the season is very long and tough, so we still have to see what this veteran Lakers can do on the floor. Do you think they can win the ring?
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.