Coming off a disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to do everything they can to maximize the talent on their star-studded roster next season. How exactly will they do that, you ask? By starting 6-foot-8, 250-pound LeBron James at point guard, apparently.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, James will be the team’s starting point guard next season and Danny Green will start at shooting guard.
James, 34, will be entering his 17th NBA season and is prepared to become the floor general in an effort to maximize a roster that’s suddenly built to contend for a championship with the addition of All-Star forward Anthony Davis and a few complementary pieces.
James, a four-time league MVP, and newly acquired Danny Green are expected to start in the backcourt, sources said.
With James and Green expected to round out the backcourt, the rest of the starting lineup is up in the air. Of course, Anthony Davis will start, but who will be other forward in the starting lineup?
Kyle Kuzma makes some sense, but his shortcomings on the defensive end could make him a liability out on the wing. It’s also important to note that James will likely still defend forwards, so whoever head coach Frank Vogel slots into the starting lineup will have to be able to defend guards. Kuzma doesn’t fit that bill, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso and Avery Bradley do.
If I had to guess, the opening night starting lineup will feature LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee. On paper, that’s a solid starting lineup, but it further highlights the need for a solid backup small forward on the roster.
As it stands, James is the only true small forward on the roster and in today’s position-less NBA, that might not be a huge deal, but James and Green are the only players on the roster that can check big forwards out on the perimeter and they’re both over 30 years old. Getting someone like Andre Iguodala or Thabo Sefolosha to soak up some of those minutes at the three spot would help smoothen out the rotation.
The most interesting thing to watch with the “Point ‘Bron” experiment, though, will be the toll it takes on his body. If James plays the same role he’s played his entire career with a new title, it won’t be such a big deal, but if it’s evident early on that he’ll be expected to guard ones and twos, it will be a situation worth monitoring.
James has shown he has no problem adapting his game in the past and given his well-known knack for finding his teammates, this should be a fairly easy adjustment for James to make. If things don’t work out, though, the Lakers have the depth at point guard to pivot to more traditional lineups.