As we inch closer to the start of training camp, the NBA rumor mill is finally starting to pick some steam back up. After going relatively quiet for weeks following the free agency scramble, the countdown is officially on for the return of the NBA.
With USA Basketball holding their training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup, some NBA players have already started to brush the rust off from the offseason. However, Lakers superstar LeBron James seems to be taking things even a bit further with his idea for a preseason minicamp.
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LeBron James to Organize Lakers Minicamp Before Season
With the idea in place to hold the minicamp before they actually break training camp, the Lakers would get some valuable extra time to learn to play alongside one another before the season begins. Training camp typically doesn’t last long and a few short games in the preseason is hardly enough to get a team accustomed to playing with one another – especially with so many new faces.
The Lakers are only returning six players from last season. Joining James on the returning cast are Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso. The Lakers currently have eight new players on the roster with one spot still open to bring on another newcomer to the team. Among the number of free agency acquisitions (and one blockbuster trade), the Lakers added Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Danny Green as well as a number of other high-impact players.
Under new head coach Frank Vogel and with a roster more suited to space the floor around LeBron James, it seems this team should be a much better on-court fit compared to last season’s unit. However, the team seems (at least on paper) like it should fit in well alongside LeBron James. If anything, James and Davis learning to share the court should be the team’s biggest hurdle as aside from those two, the Lakers are mostly filled with quality perimeter defenders and spot-up shooters who should have no problem running the court alongside the Lakers super-duo.
Lakers Still Holding Out on Last Roster Spot
Another day, another roster spot left unfilled for the Lakers. With 14 out of 15 guaranteed deals in place and 19 out of 20 spots filled for training camp, the Lakers have one additional guaranteed deal to throw around in order to fill out their roster. Andre Iguodala seems to be the popular target – however – the Grizzlies seem unwilling to buy out his contract and instead are looking to recoup some assets and trade him.
A trade puts him out of the Lakers’ ballpark but no teams have shown much interest yet as Iguodala’s hefty $17 million salary this season seems to be deterring most teams. As of now, it seems extremely unlikely to see Andre Iguodala suit up in the purple and gold this season as the team instead will start to shift its focus in the coming weeks to the number of veteran contributors still available on the free agent market.