With a deadline last week for teams to draw up their lists for the NBA restart at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the Los Angeles Lakers did it with 17 players.
Their list includes the recently signed JR Smith as the only new face when he was replaced by Avery Bradley, who decided not to join the team in Orlando due to health concerns for his eldest son.
The Lakers have 15 NBA players: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, Anthony Davis, Jared Dudley, Danny Green, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Markieff Morris, Rajon Rondo, Smith and Dion Waiters. In addition, LA takes two-way players Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok.
Although Howard was included, it is not clear whether he will join the team. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has said he has no plans to replace him even if Howard decides to step down.
Training camps are slated to begin with the Lakers traveling to Orlando on July 9. All teams will be able to train and have three scrums before the planting matches start on July 30. The Lakers are part of the first night back from the NBA as they are scheduled to face the LA Clippers.
The Lakers’ other seven games will face the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings. Each will be broadcast on Spectrum SportsNet in addition to ESPN or TNT.
One of the most important things for the Lakers who will start this reboot will be to rediscover the chemistry they had and determine their best rotation, especially with the loss of Bradley. However, the Lakers are taking things slowly.
“It’s too early to really start talking about rotation and composition because this process is so fluid,” Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka said during a conference call. “We are delighted that just before the break, we added Dion Waiters, we added Markieff Morris. Obviously, there will be more time to integrate players like that. Then we will have this replacement player. ”
While Morris was able to play in a few games, Waiters barely managed to train before the season ended. And of course, and Smith will just join the team, so Vogel and the coaching staff will have a lot of work to find the best rotation, especially in the backcourt.
Once Bradley leaves, Caldwell-Pope, Caruso, Rondo, Waiters and Smith will all be called upon to intervene in different situations. Obviously, in the end, this team will go as far as James and Davis will carry them, but we now know the players who will dress and try to bring the Lakers to their 17th NBA Championship.
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