Well, we did the Clippers, so I guess it makes sense to do the Lakers. And not just because technically it ends up being a nautical extravaganza that involves sailboats on a lake (MAXIMIZING METAPHOR) but because in a lot of ways these teams act as a yin and yang together and against each other. While I’m not even sure what that fully means as an Asian-American man, all I can say is that this specific Lakers team is poised to be good (LeBron and company) but may also carry with it some frustrations (AARP and company) during the long NBA season. But as someone once said, if you never taste the sour, you’ll never know the sweet so I guess we’ll end the intro on that note for some reason…
2021-2022 Los Angeles Lakers Depth Chart
|Starters||R. Westbrook||W. Ellington||LeBron James||Anthony Davis||Marc Gasol|
|2nd Unit||Kendrick Nunn||Malik Monk||Kent Bazemore||C. Anthony||Dwight Howard|
|Depth||Rajon Rondo||T. Horton-Tucker||Trevor Ariza||DeAndre Jordan|
|Depth||Austin Reaves||Joel Ayayi|
So is old and busted the new hotness? Sure, it’s not like that’s dated or something. And let’s be honest, that old and busted is looking pretty hot. From Carmelo Anthony to Trevor Ariza (okay, this one is a slight stretch) to Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, and of course LeBron James to well… do I really have to end with Rajon Rondo? Okay, Rondo doesn’t really count, but even the supposed “no names” have a lot to like in Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn with even Joel Ayayi and Austin Reaves vying for minutes at points this season for the second unit.
And that’s the theme for this Lakers team, an old but supremely talented first unit, and a very interesting and robust second unit that really will offer much-needed depth and flexibility as the season rolls on.
The potential depth and flexibility of this roster are due to a very productive off-season, but letting Alex Caruso (and eventually Dennis Schroder) may not be the wisest of decisions. But beyond that minor fopaux, the signings of Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, and the re-signing of Dwight Howard bring with them a mix of experience and energy that while measured, seems to be a good mix on paper.
For the role players or I guess the non-Lebron players, you’ll of course have Wayne Ellington as the de facto range shooter (and Kent Bazemore to a certain extent) with Russell Westbrook not really a “range” shooter, but since he’ll force it like he always does, will just have to be included. Carmelo will look to take the sixth man mantel and most likely flourish in the role, and for rebounds and blocks, you have your usual suspects in Anthony Davis and DeAndre Jordan. And for overall defense, Tucker, Rondo, and Ariza (plus-shooter) can help there.
Frankly, just as I alluded to in the lede, the Lakers and Clippers share similar talents, similar team composition, but also mirror the same risks in both health and age. And while a playoffs appearance is almost guaranteed, it should by no means be taken for granted. But this team is poised to go deep and go far as a potential top-3 seed, and after this offseason of wheeling and dealing, it’s well deserved.
And you know, worst-case scenario, you get to spend all season saying Ayayi. Do it, say it with me. AYAYI! Feels good, right?
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him on Twitter @jaywrong.