The defending champions, Los Angeles Lakers, have made a statement with their free agency moves. Retaining a title is hard, but the Lakers are certainly on the best path to do it.
They have signed Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol so far, and have traded for Dennis Schroder. The Lakers also brought back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was a vital contributor to their 2020 title campaign.
So with these new arrivals and departures like that of Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee, who makes it to their starting five?
Similar to how they played in the 2020 Playoffs, LeBron James could start as the point guard for the Lakers. During the regular season, they had Bradley but now that he has left for the Heat, LeBron could move from small forward to point guard.
He is the best playmaker in the league, and playing him instead of Schroder offers the Lakers an edge on defense.
New signing Wesley Matthews could be the new starting shooting guard for them. Despite being 34, he started 67 games for the Bucks last season. He is solid on defense and can be a threat from the perimeter as well.
Caldwell-Pope is likely to be the starting small forward for the upcoming season. He was amazing last year and showed out on both ends. He will be eager to justify his new contract and will continue to be vital for the Lakers.
Expected to continue at power forward is the soon to re-join Anthony Davis. He has already verbally committed and is just waiting to ink out the deal officially.
His return will be huge for the Lake Show, especially on the defensive end since all the players they have lost so far were strong defenders. Davis will be expected to play at an MVP level as he has so far and lead the team once again.
To complete the lineup, the Lakers will be expected to start Marc Gasol at center. The new addition returns to the team that drafted him but traded him without letting him step onto the court in the iconic purple and gold. His experience and leadership will be crucial for the team.
The Lakers have solidified their bench even further with the arrival of Schroder and Harrell. They will be expected to lead the bench unit that will also feature Alex Caruso, Kyle Kuzma, and Markieff Morris.
That is going to be one of the strongest benches in the league, and although they lack in defense, the offensive ability will be too good to handle for other bench units in the league.
This is a championship-caliber team and the Lakers will be expected to win it all.
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