Los Angeles Lakers Player Review: How Have Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell & Other New Recruits Performed So Far?

Published 01/05/2021, 7:06 AM EST
Dec 28, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; A general view of the opening tipoff between the Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers changed the look of most of their roster this off-season. After winning the NBA Championship last season, the Lakers chose to reconstruct most of their roster around the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Much of the championship-winning roster was comprised of veteran players such as Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and others.

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In the off-season, the Lakers signed Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol as free agents. Additionally, they traded for Dennis Schroder in the off-season. The Lakers lost Rondo, Howard, Green, McGee, and Avery Bradley in free agency or trades. After 7 games this season, the Lakers are tied 7-2 for the best record in the Western Conference.

So how have the new players been performing for the Los Angeles Lakers? Take a look at the new recruits’ performance so far this season.

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Los Angeles Lakers – How have the new signings played?

Dennis Schroder

Dec 22, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) drives against LA Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) and center Ivica Zubac (40) in the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Schroder arrived in Los Angeles as part of a trade with OKC. Since joining the Lakers, Schroder has been excellent. After coming off the bench in OKC, Schroder has secured a place in the starting line-up for the Lakers, replacing Rajon Rondo who departed for Atlanta.

In the seven games that he played for the Lakers, Schroder has averaged 16.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds. Additionally, he has been shooting 46% from the field and 37% from the three-point line. Schroder has been playing heavy minutes this year, averaging close to 30 minutes per game.

Montrezl Harrell

Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Montrezl Harrell (15) goes up for a dunk in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Harrell shocked the NBA when he departed from the LA Clippers to join the Lakers in free agency. Harrell had a falling out with Clippers teammates Paul George and Kawhi Leonard over their special treatment and perks. And now, he went across the hall to the Los Angeles Lakers locker room.

Since joining the Lakers, Harrell has been coming off the bench. In his seven games, he has averaged 12.9 points and 7.6 rebounds. Additionally, he has been making 63% of his shots, one of the most efficient percentages in the NBA. He plays about 26 minutes coming off the bench.

Marc Gasol

Dec 13, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Marc Gasol (14) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum (33) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Years after the Lakers drafted and traded him, Gasol returned to the Los Angeles Lakers. Much like his brother, Lakers legend Pau, Marc Gasol is a former NBA champion. But at age 35, his mobility is limited, and cannot defend or score the way used to. However, he is still a strong veteran presence on the squad.

Since joining the Lakers, Gasol has played every game as a starter. He has averaged 4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block per game. Despite being a starter, Gasol has only played 20 minutes per game.

Wesley Matthews

Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives past Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Matthews signed for the Lakers in free agency. He spent his previous season with the Milwaukee Bucks as a veteran shooting guard. Matthews was brought in to compensate for the loss of Danny Green, especially from the three-point range. For the Lakers, Matthews provides veteran experience, despite not having the championship pedigree that Green had.

Matthews has come off the bench for all the Lakers’ games. He has averaged 5 points per game. But it is his three-point shooting that is impressive. He has averaged 45% from the three-point line so far. In the Lakers’ first game against San Antonio, Matthews was perfect from the three-point line. He scored all 6 of his three-pointers, ending the game with 18 points.

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Los Angeles Lakers – New recruits performing well

Dec 30, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson (3) looks to pass as Los Angeles Lakers guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) and Dennis Schroder (17) and forward Anthony Davis (3) defend in the third quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers have experienced good fortunes with their new players. Dennis Schroder has been the clear standout so far. He is showing that he is ready to be the Lakers’ third star and has been a solid provider for the team when LeBron James takes his rest. If these new recruits can improve on the scoring front, the Lakers will be the favorites to retain their NBA championship.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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