Like just about everyone in the country, Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson has a podcast—the Long Shot. On a recent episode, Robinson was asked about the NBA offseason and which team he felt had done the best to improve itself.
Robinson twisted the question a bit but it seems he, like the rest of us, is very interested to see how things shake out with the newly reconstructed Lakers, who added big names like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, but also filled out the team with solid role players like Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk and Wayne Ellington.
Here was Robinson’s take on L.A.:
I don’t know if it’s necessarily ‘best’ because I think time will tell. But the most intriguing offseason in my opinion is out West, with the Lakers. The collection of talent and experience they’ve gathered there is truly unique when you look across the league, the average age being, I think, around 32 years old. It is going to be really interesting to see how those pieces come together.
Obviously, the ones that are going to be talked about are Russ and Carmelo, but I really like the addition of Kendrick. Like, Kendrick’s an incredible plug-and-play scorer. I think Wayne Ellington has a chance to be really, really impactful, his game is perfectly fit for what they’re doing, the ability to space the floor and put stress on defenses. Malik Monk has shown he is very capable, particularly against the Miami Heat. He has filled it up in bunches against us on numerous occasions.
Lakers Overhauled the Roster This Summer
Of course, the Lakers are still anchored by two of the league’s biggest stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The pair posted good numbers last season (James averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds, while Davis scored 21.8 points with 7.9 rebounds) but each struggled to stay healthy. Davis missed 36 games, mostly because of a calf injury, and James missed 25 games, mostly with an ankle sprain.
The pair played together for most of the first 27 games of the season, before Davis left a game against the Nuggets with the calf problem in mid-February. The Lakers were 21-6 at that time, but went 21-24 for the rest of the way and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Despite signs that the Lakers might have been solid if they’d remained healthy, the team loaded up on new players—12 of them, with only James, Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker remaining—in the offseason.
Duncan Robinson: ‘I Love the Moves We Made’
All of this is not to say that Robinson is putting the Lakers at the top of the NBA hierarchy. His initial answer to the question of which team had the best offseason was predictable: the Heat. Robinson was part of the Heat’s big summer, signing a five-year, $90 million contract to stay in Miami in free agency.
Little wonder he felt the Heat were tops this offseason.
“I’m gonna keep it local,” Robinson said. “The Miami Heat, I love the moves that we made. Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris—Caleb Martin, recent signing, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent. And the fact that I get to stay here all ties it up in a nice little bow. I’ll stay 305. Heat culture, baby, through and through.”