‘Disappointed that Rajon Rondo Left’: Former Lakers Champion Voices Concern About Team’s Off-Season Moves

Published 12/22/2020, 9:29 AM EST


The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the busiest teams this off-season. The champions made multiple moves and brought in some crucial players in Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol.

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When a side wins the championship, they want to keep the core of the team intact and just make some minor changes to the roster. This hasn’t been the case for the Lakers though, who have seen the departure of nearly half of their team.

Could the new-look Lakers be in for a repeat?

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Former champion ‘little bit concerned’ with all the moves

Former Lakers champion Michael Cooper recently interacted with Showtime Podcast and Lakers Daily. Cooper was sceptical of the Lakers not re-signing Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley. He also voiced his concerns regarding the absurd number of moves the champions made.

He said, “I like a couple of them. I’m really, really disappointed that we didn’t get to re-sign Avery Bradley. I’m disappointed that Rajon Rondo left. They left for their own reasons. I’m not too much inside with the Lakers. I’m on the outside looking in. That concerns me a little bit.

“I like the addition of [Dennis] Schroder and the acquisition of Montrezl [Harrell]. I think those are players that are going to come and play with high energy, and sometimes, the Lakers need that, but it concerns me a little because when you win a championship, you almost want to keep 70 percent of the pieces together. At least 70-80 percent of the pieces, but to lose a lot of pieces like that concerns me.

“Half the team and a good core of them. But I like the acquisition of [Wesley] Matthews. His dad Wes used to play with me in the ’80s. A high I.Q. basketball player, and for Frank Vogel’s offense, you need to have some basketball I.Q. that goes with athleticism. You pick up both of those qualities in Matthews, but it concerns me because KCP and Matthews are the same player.”

Can the new-look Lakers be in for a repeat?

The Lakers were a team full of veterans hungry to win. Coming into this season, they are a team loaded with stars just hitting their prime.

Some many changes in a championship team in unprecedented, but this might have been the necessary step. This season sees the return of some superstars like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. There will be much more challenging matchups than last season. The challenge just got bigger and to face them the roster needed some reinforcements.

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Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) guards Los Angeles Lakers center Los Angeles Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The replacements that the Lakers have brought in are younger and much more energetic, things that the Lakers slightly lacked last season. With Harrell and Schroder coming off of the bench, Coach Vogel will be relieved with the second unit.

The only slight downgrade that they might see will be in the center position. They lost a dynamic center in Dwight Howard and brought in an intelligent center in Marc Gasol. The team now has an additional playmaker and will hope that Anthony Davis can redeem the lack in athleticism.

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With the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis still at the center of the team, the Lakers won’t be that worried with the players they lost. The champions will face an enormous challenge coming into this season, but with the moves they are the favorites for the title and are in for a repeat.

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Aditya Mohapatra

718 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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