The 2019-2020 Lakers are already hard at work looking to build chemistry and prepare for the next season. This was on full display as incumbent Lakers JaVale McGee and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were caught working out alongside newcomers Anthony Davis and Quinn Cook.
Anthony Davis & JaVale McGee Among Lakers At Offseason Workout [Watch]
Posted to the Mamba Sports Academy Instagram page, the video shows Davis, McGee, Caldwell-Pope, and Cook being put through the wringer with a variety of exercises on a gigantic hill of sand. All four players look to fill a prominent role for the team next season with Davis serving as a co-star alongside LeBron James and McGee, Caldwell-Pope, and Cook looking to fill important roles off the bench.
Cook, in particular, could have the chance to play himself into a prominent starting role as the Lakers are relatively thin at the point guard position. They brought back an aging Rajon Rondo and the exciting two-way player Alex Caruso, however, Cook should be given every opportunity to not only thrive off the bench but eventually play himself into an everyday starting role.
Caldwell-Pope is looking to keep his hot hand from the end of last season going and seems to be putting in some quality offseason work to ensure he doesn’t slip. He has been streaky at times during his Laker tenure but can knock down the deep ball with the best in the league when he is on his game. Improved consistency from Pope will go a long ways towards helping the Lakers – who desperately need strong spot-up three-point shooting.
McGee might get the chance to start the year as the “starter” at center but assuming DeMarcus Cousins is healthy, McGee should likely find himself playing the bulk of his minutes with the second unit. McGee showed to be a strong fit for the Lakers’ offense last season and his rim protection with the second unit should help do wonders and give the Lakers one of the toughest defenses to finish at the rim on.
Anthony Davis’ Fit Alongside DeMarcus Cousins & LeBron James
Assuming DeMarcus Cousins can get back to even 80% of the player he was prior to his 2018 Achilles’ tear, the Lakers should have two stars for Anthony Davis – the presumed heir to the Lakers – to play alongside this season. While the James and Davis pairing is set for what looks to be the foreseeable future, if all goes according to plan Cousins looks to be a one-year rental.
Cousins and Davis had an extraordinarily productive run playing alongside one another in New Orleans prior to Cousins’ injury. With Cousins’ ability to step back beyond the three-point line and stretch opposing defenses, he gave Davis considerably more room to operate on the interior and forced opposing big men to get dragged out along the perimeter. Conversely, Davis used his incredible athleticism to clear out and give Cousins room to post up and go to work down low – as well as offer him a supremely athletic cutter to the rim for easy assists.
With James, everything is hypothetical as the two haven’t played together but on paper, they seem to be a perfect on-court pairing. With James’ elite playmaking and Davis’ ability to keep pace with the King in transition, the two look to be a nearly unstoppable force when they can get out and run. Even in halfcourt sets, a Davis-James pick and roll set is terrifying to defend on paper – especially when the two are surrounded by a fleet of capable shooters.