The Los Angeles Lakers loaded up in the frontcourt this offseason by acquiring six-time All-Star Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, signing four-time DeMarcus Cousins and retaining two-time NBA champion JaVale McGee. McGee might not be an All-Star like Davis or Cousins, but he’s still a valuable player in the right role.
In his first season with the Lakers, McGee averaged a career-high 12 points per game on 62.4 percent shooting from the field while averaging 7.5 rebounds and two blocks per game. The only other player to match those averages last season was Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
McGee’s career season with the Lakers earned him a two-year, $8.2 million contract and an opportunity to compete for a third championship ring alongside James and Davis. While McGee isn’t ready to promise Los Angeles a title just yet, he told Omar Raja of House of Highlights that he thinks the Lakers can make a meaningful run next season:
“I feel like the GM, they went on 2K and cheated and just put a whole bunch of good players on the same team. It’s definitely going to work out. I feel like we’re going to make a deep run.”
After all the roster shuffling that happened in the offseason, the Western Conference is as balanced as it’s ever been, meaning the title race will be as tight as it’s ever been.
There will be teams with more chemistry and experience than the Lakers, but no other team has the superstar of James and Davis. For that reason alone, McGee should feel confident about his team’s chances going into the season. Lakers fans probably should, too.