The Lakers entered NBA free agency period needing to get younger, quicker, and more athletic, attempting to erase the ghosts of last season’s old, slow, and oft-injured team. In line with those goals, the team signed high flyer Lonnie Walker IV — who had his qualifying offer rescinded by the San Antonio Spurs — for the taxpayer mid-level exception, and Troy Brown Jr., who played for the Chicago Bulls last season.
Each player has distinct strengths and weaknesses, but an issue they share is that each shot under the league average of 35% from distance last season — a key potential problem when you’re playing on a LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led team.
However, this may mean the Lakers are leaning heavily into their player development process — specifically the strengths of new lead assistant coach Chris Jent.
I explained in the following video:
Naturally, only time will tell if the team’s trust pays off, and if Jent, Walker and Brown can provide results quickly enough to have a tangible impact next season. However, there certainly seems to be a multi-faceted process in place for these acquisitions. And for any team constrained by cap space limitations as much as the Lakers are, you have to try and find value players with the potential to strike gold — like Malik Monk last season.
There’s of course some risk involved, but the decision-making certainly seems rooted in the strengths of the team’s coaching staff and the player profiles are already night and day compared to last season in terms of overall fit. It all bodes well for the upcoming season.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.