The L.A. Lakers are putting the final touches on their 2019-20 roster with the addition of Avery Bradley. After Kawhi Leonard chose their neighbors, the Lakers made a number of moves to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with talent. The majority of the signings are short-term deals to allow them to maintain some cap flexibility in future years.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that James is expected to start the season at point guard. The move could potentially allow the Lakers to include DeMarcus Cousins and Kyle Kuzma in the starting lineup. While Kuzma traditionally plays power forward, he has spent time at small forward in the past. Haynes detailed the position switch for James.
The new-look Los Angeles Lakers are heading into the 2019-20 season with the intention of starting LeBron James at point guard, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
James, 34, will be entering his 17th NBA season and is prepared to become the floor general in an effort to maximize a roster that’s suddenly built to contend for a championship with the addition of All-Star forward Anthony Davis and a few complementary pieces.
James, a four-time league MVP, and newly acquired Danny Green are expected to start in the backcourt, sources said.
Bradley averaged 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30 minutes of play per game last season. Bradley gives the Lakers a good defensive-minded guard they can bring off the bench, which could be especially helpful in the playoffs. NBA writer Albert Nahmad detailed Bradley’s contract and how it will impact the Lakers salary cap situation.
“Avery Bradley will sign a two-year, $9.7M deal (incl. a player option on the second season) with the Lakers once he clears waivers (per @wojespn). The contract will use the R-MLE ($4.76M), and will allow the Grizzlies to set off $1.66M of the $2.0M they owe him for 2019-20,” Nahmad tweeted.
Here’s an updated look at the Lakers roster and projected starting lineup for the 2019-20 season.
Lakers Roster & Projected Starting Lineup 2019-20
C: DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee
PF: Anthony Davis, Jared Dudley, Johnathan Williams (RFA)
SF: Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker
SG: Danny Green, Troy Daniels, Alex Caruso, Zach Norvell Jr. (Two-Way)
PG: LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook
Aside from the Davis trade, the splashiest move the Lakers made was signing Cousins to a one-year deal. Cousins was hoping to turn his prove-it deal from the Warriors into a lucrative contract, but the big man only played 30 games last season.
If Kuzma does not start at the three, the Lakers will have a bit of a dilemma with who to start between Cousins and Kuzma. Given Davis prefers to play power forward, Cousins makes a bit more positional sense, but a strong argument can be made for Kuzma looking like the better player during the 2018-19 season.
Danny Green Gives the Lakers Some Much-Needed Shooting
Danny Green signed the most lucrative contract of any Lakers player this offseason. Green gives the Lakers some much-needed shooting, something that was greatly missing from the roster last season.
Lakers fans are used to players like Green making a living at the Staples Center hitting wide-open threes. From Brian Shaw to Derek Fisher, Green could be the next in the Lakers lineage of role-playing guards that proves to be very valuable to the team’s success. Prior to the signing, Green discussed on the Inside the Green Room podcast why the Lakers were an appealing option.
“It speaks for itself,” Green said, per Clutch Points. “And they’ve got other good pieces. Kuzma. They signed Jared Dudley, Troy Daniels, some shooters. And when you’ve got those two guys, you know the sky is the limit.”
Based on the current roster, the Lakers only have a couple more moves they can make. Real GM’s Keith Smith listed a few potential options that the Lakers could look at in the future including Carmelo Anthony.
“As is the case with a contender with an open roster spot, the Lakers have been linked to every available veteran. Also, plenty of vets who aren’t even available yet! Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver & Carmelo Anthony all seem to be the names that come up most. We’ll see what happens!” Smith tweeted.