After a wild start to the free agency period, the Los Angeles Lakers do not look like they will be making any other major roster adjustments heading into next season. General Manager Rob Pelinka publicly stated that besides LeBron James, all other starting positions are going to be competed for. The Lakers have an interesting collection of players on their roster, which of those guys will start alongside LeBron at the start of the season?
Point Guard: Lonzo Ball – Ball is the Lakers’ reigning starting point guard, but after the signing of Rajon Rondo, it isn’t a given he gets to remain in that position. Ball probably gets the nod; he was the second overall pick just a year ago and he played well last season. Ball has shown more potential as a shooter than Rondo, an important skill for a point guard on a team where LeBron will have the ball in his hands a lot. Rondo will probably get a lot of playing time, but that should be minutes off of the bench.
Shooting Guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – After having a weird season for the Lakers last year, KCP is back on another one year deal and is the presumed starter. Josh Hart is entering his second year and should make this a tough competition. Hart and KCP will probably play together for stretches because Hart has the size to play some at forward. Lance Stephenson is another guy who will get minutes, playing the two and the three. Stephenson brings toughness and a little bit of crazy to this Lakers’ roster.
Forward: Brandon Ingram – The crown jewel of the Lakers’ young talent. Ingram is a young scorer who has not yet grown into their body. After averaging 16 points last season, people will be expecting him to make a jump with another year under his belt and playing with LeBron. Kyle Kuzma will also have an impact at the forward spot. The second year player will provide spacing next to LeBron. Stephenson and Hart will also get some run here.
Forward: LeBron James – The only given on the roster.
Center: Javale McGee – Man, this is kind of scary. The Lakers let Brook Lopez go so that they could start McGee at center? McGee tried to change his reputation with the Warriors, but he just should not be a starting center. For whatever reason, the Lakers front office decided that McGee is the guy they want, and he better be. The Lakers’ depth at center is completely nonexistent. Don’t be surprised if halfway through the season the Lakers make a move for a center.
A starting lineup of Ball-KCP-Ingram-LeBron-McGee isn’t particularly exciting. Is this starting lineup better than the one LeBron play on during the NBA Finals? I don’t know. In Vegas, the Lakers have the second best odds to win the NBA title. Don’t buy into that hype. As it stands now, it is hard to imagine the Lakers finishing higher than fourth in the Western Conference.