The Los Angeles Lakers will be without their starting point guard — or perhaps more accurately, their defender of starting point guards — when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Orlando, now that Avery Bradley has opted out of the rest of the campaign out of concern for the health of his son.
On the latest episode of “I Love Basketball” — a podcast by Silver Screen and Roll — hosts Sabreena Merchant and Anthony Irwin begin the show by assessing the reactions of fans and players to Bradley’s decision to sit out, along with similar choices made by other players, including Trevor Ariza and Davis Bertans. They then focus on the specific impact of Bradley’s absence for the Lakers, focusing on his defensive ability and the chemistry the team has developed with Bradley in the starting lineup as the nominal “point guard.”
The two of them then discuss how the existing bench guards on the Lakers roster (the trio of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, and Rajon Rondo) can fill help Bradley’s role, but spend the majority of the show speculating on the potential production of Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith, who is the “leading candidate” for the team’s 15th roster spot. They also discussed what sort of needs the Lakers could target with their final roster spot that don’t exactly replicate what Bradley was providing for the team.
Finally, they end on the latest updates regarding the viability of the NBA bubble and how confident they are in the season actually finishing in Orlando.