The Los Angeles Lakers will have a lot of work to do going into the new NBA season. Last season's defending NBA Champions got eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to the Phoenix Suns. A big part of why the Lakers fell was because of injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis through the course of the season and the post-season. Clearly, there was no third option to handle the load when the Lakers' dynamic duo were unavailable. And that is what the Lakers will be trying to change this off-season.
So far, despite the off-season just beginning, the Lakers front office has been hard at work. Rumors have linked the Lakers to several stars in the league. So clearly, the Lakers are looking at several options to bolster their squad. But which players being linked have dominated the headlines so far? Here are some of the players that the Lakers have been linked with so far.
Perhaps the biggest superstar on this list, Westbrook could make a return to his hometown of Los Angeles. Rumors suggest that talks between the Lakers and the Wizards in order to complete a trade. Westbrook was traded to the Washington Wizards last season after the Houston Rockets called time on the Westbrook-Harden tandem after just one season. And Westbrook once again put up individual performances that defied the laws of basketball. His stat lines from different games were absolutely incredible, as he set more records this season. While Westbrook has been criticized for his effectiveness as a first and second option on a championship team, maybe he can be an incredible third option. A trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook would immediately propel the Lakers into championship favorite status. They could provide solid competition to the Brooklyn Nets and their big three next season.
However, Westbrook's performances are not the cause of concern here. The Lakers should ideally look at bringing in a star who can compensate for the Lakers' weaknesses. Their biggest weakness is three-point shooting. Unfortunately, Westbrook has also struggled from beyond the arc. He isn't a strong shooter from beyond the arc, and therefore, could cause problems when LeBron and AD are having an off-night on the court. However, what Westbrook lacks in three-point shooting, he more than compensates for on the offensive end with his points and assists averages during the course of a season.
Perhaps the most surprising name on the list, the Spanish guard is also an option that Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office are considering. Rubio is currently with the Minnesota Timberwolves and could look to join a team with greater aspirations in the NBA. Rubio is tested in the NBA and has shown that he can perform well. However, he is only considered an option if the Lakers are not able to come to an agreement with Dennis Schroder. The German guard has some lofty contract demands for the Lakers, which has proved to be the stumbling block for the Lakers to try and re-sign him. Furthermore, his poor showing in the playoffs doesn't help his case for the big sum that he is looking for.