Authors of an offseason during which they seem to have greatly strengthened, the Lakers are however criticized for the age of their roster, considered too old, despite the experienced players who compose it. Yet beyond age, which appears to be one of the Lakers’ main strengths given their rookies, is a sense of revenge common to most of the free agents signed this summer. Signed for 1.6 million, Wayne Ellington knows the privilege he has to be part of this team. He who already played 7 years ago for Los Angeles, during a season that the Lakers had finished with only 21 wins. Next year they will play for the title and for the shooter you can see it as a cycle of life.
“To be part of this team now, when you think back to this team (in reference to the 2014/2015 season when he played for the Lakers), the circle has come full circle.”
For Dwight Howard, the celebrations of the title of 2020, Covid obliges, could not take place as usual, while Los Angeles had been waiting for a title for 11 years. So he also wants to go and win a new ring for that.
“To have that here in LA would be amazing. All the fans here, all the people around the world that would travel to LA just to be a part of the parade and just to see what love can do. ” Dwight Howard
The Lakers have therefore welcomed 7 new free agents, not to mention Talen Horton-Tucker who was already there last year, what are Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk. The first three cities have already played for the Lakers and Ariza and Howard have even been champions, respectively in 2020 for Howard and in 2009 for Ariza. Obviously everyone will also be accompanied by Russell Westbrook, arrived in a trade the night of the draft. With this arrival, these are Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Cadwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma who left the angelino ship. With them, it is especially players in the prime of their lives and under their thirties who are leaving. Physically fit players. With one of the oldest roster in the NBA, the Lakers are going to have a huge challenge, that of endurance. The season will once again drop to 82 games and the stars of the Lakers will certainly have to skip a few games here and there. Dwight Howard has already announced that he plans to go to bed earlier this season to recover better since to quote him, “Because we’re old, we get cranky.”
“I think age is just a number,” adds Wayne Ellington. If you look, I feel like we have guys who have been pretty fit, who are still moving really well and even guys who are playing their best basketball right now at that age. So with the experience and leadership we have, I don’t think there will be a problem. How Bron said (reference to LeBron’s tweet defending the age of the roster), just make sure everyone keeps that same energy when you get on the pitch. ”
On the other hand, the experience will overflow within a workforce where we can count multiple All-Stars. This will be essential to attack a season where many eyes will be on Los Angeles. And this experience, Trevor Ariza intends to use it to accept his role within the team, even if it means playing less.
“When you are part of a title or when you try to win it, the only thing that matters is the success of the team. So when team success is the first thing you think about, it doesn’t matter what role you have as long as you have one. “
And if the old recruits are looking for a revenge or a second chance to win the title, the young recruits also have something to erase. For Kendrick Nunn, 26, there is already a loss in the final to erase. Beaten by the Lakers, while he was in Miami, he wants to turn the page and go for a title.
“I am quite frustrated with this loss. But I’m trying to erase that by winning the title next season ”
For Malik Monk, the path is also somewhat tortuous. Drafted in 11th position in the 2017 draft, the rear ends up signing a minimum contract at only 23 years old. However, he does not see this as a step backwards and wants to use the experience accumulated by the players around him.
“How to be a basketball player, how to be a pro, how to work. I will take all I can from this opportunity. I’m just grateful to have this opportunity to be with all these great players and this amazing organization. ”
A workforce where we can still find a little youth with in particular Joel Ayayi, signed in two-way contract after the draft and who will also be able to rub shoulders with very great players from his rookie season.
Via The Orange County Register