Sports

Los Angeles Lakers Making Progress This Offseason

| by Max Wohlmuth

At the beginning of the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers had very few players on their roster. Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre were signed to a contract. Although the Lakers missed out on signing Carmelo Anthony, Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the Lakers’ front office may have created a formidable team.

The Lakers were able to re-sign a few important role players after they became free agents this summer. Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill both signed short-term deals. Most notably, the Lakers guard Nick Young agreed on a new four-year contract. Young led the Lakers in scoring last season with 17.9 points per game.

Los Angeles will welcome new faces to Staples Center as well. The Lakers acquired Carlos Boozer after he was amnestied by the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers were in need of some help inside the key after Pau Gasol left to play for the Bulls. The Lakers will expect Boozer to lead the younger members of the frontcourt.

Jeremy Lin, who played for the Houston Rockets last season, was traded to the Lakers this summer. Lin broke out with the New York Knicks during the 2011-2012 season sparking what was known as “Linsanity.” Lin scored 12.5 points per game and dished out 4.2 assists per game for the Rockets. He should receive plenty of minutes on the court splitting time with an aging Steve Nash.

Other notable signings include Julius Randle, the Lakers’ seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. Like Boozer, Randle is very strong and skilled and should learn a lot from the veteran power forward. He has been playing well during this year’s Summer League, which is a positive sign for Los Angeles. Randle will receive lots of playing time if he continues to do well this offseason.

Lastly, Ed Davis, former member of the Memphis Grizzlies, is now listed on the Lakers’ roster. Davis was the 13th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in 2010. He averaged 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season. Davis will have to compete with Boozer and Randle if he wants any playing time at power forward.

The Lakers had a lot of improving to do after last season. However, Los Angeles has made a few great additions this summer and may not be done. Yet, if Laker fans are hoping for a championship season, they will be disappointed.