After a disappointing season, the Lakers look to turn things around this Fall. Here’s a look at the Lakers’ offseason moves in 2022.
Just one year ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were seen as a true contender to win the 2022 NBA Finals. All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis now had the help of 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. Westbrook had averaged a triple-double that past season with the Washington Wizards, notching 22.2 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per game and 11.7 assists per game.
What looked to be a promising season for the Lakers was anything but. After winning only 31 of their first 72 games, the Lakers lost eight straight games, eliminating any chance of reaching the 10th seed and competing in the playoffs. They did this while allowing an average of 115.1 points to be scored on them per game, the third highest for any team in the league. This offseason, the Lakers look to turn things around.
Lonnie Walker IV
The centerpiece of the Lakers’ offseason has been Lonnie Walker IV. In only 6 starts, the 23-year-old shooting guard averaged 12.1 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists per game last season for the San Antonio Spurs. Adding to the Lakers’ young core of players like Austin Reaves, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn, Walker IV can provide quality scoring whether he starts the game or comes off the bench. Walker IV looks to fill the hole left by Malik Monk, who signed with the Sacramento Kings. Monk averaged 13.8 points per game last year with the Lakers and was a vital contributor to their offense.
The Lakers have also signed former Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson. Though the 29-year-old only notched 4.1 points per game last season, he did so while converting on 48.9% of his field goals. Additionally, Toscano-Anderson brings a winning mindset to the Lakers, having just earned a ring along with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Scotty Pippen Jr., Max Christie and Cole Swider are three signings for the Lakers who averaged 11.8, 8.2, and 15.4 points per game, respectively in the Summer League. Pippen Jr. and Swider signed two-way contracts, while Christie has secured a spot on the Lakers’ NBA roster. The son of NBA legend Scottie Pippen Sr., Pippen Jr. looks to contribute to the Lakers’ backcourt along with Westbrook, Horton-Tucker, and Nunn. Pippen was said to have a “bright future” by teammate LeBron James. Averaging 3.8 three-pointers per game as a 6-foot-9 forward, Swider adds size and reliable shooting to the Lakers roster. Overall, the Lakers’ Summer League signings can give them depth while adding to their young core.
Apart from their more popular signings, the Lakers secured three other prospects. Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr and Damian Jones will all be on the Lakers’ roster this year. They averaged 7.4, 4.3, and 8.1 points per game respectively last season. Bryant and Jones have already played for the Lakers at the end of the 2021-2022 season, while Brown Jr. played for the Chicago Bulls.
With these changes, the Lakers’ roster has much more youth. Each of their signings have something to prove, and will have stars like James, Westbrook, and Davis to guide them. The 2022 Lakers offseason looks to be one with more favorable results than last season, and with some luck, the Lakers may be able to seek championship number 18.
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Featured image courtesy of Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
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