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The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly consulted with LeBron James prior to signing a bunch of role players this offseason.
James who inked a luxurious four-year, $153 million deal with the LA Lakers is currently surrounded with high-quality role players such as JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson. Sources close to the team say that team president Magic Johnson revealed his plan to James when they met at the latter’s home last June 30.
“Unlike most free agents changing teams, LeBron is arriving with the Lakers as an all-time great. He doesn’t have pressure to prove anything,” the source said.
The source added that Johnson pitched to James a plethora of tough-minded players such as Rondo and Stephenson who could take the pressure out of the four-time Most Valuable Player. The LA Lakers who are currently the third fastest pace team in the league with 102.6 possessions per 48 minutes are hoping to improve 22.6 points transition average next season.
Quality Signings For The Lakers
While the LA Lakers missed out on multi-skilled center DeMarcus Cousins, the team got a decent addition in McGee who has evolved into a tough rim protector. In his last season with the Golden State Warriors, McGee had decent averages of 18.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per 36 minutes.
On the other hand, Rondo is also expected to help out the LA Lakers on both ends of the floor after coming off a spectacular season with the New Orleans Pelicans averaging 8.3 points, 8.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds. Rondo stepped up his game in the playoffs wherein he tallied 10.3 points, 12.2 assists, and 7.6 rebounds in nine games while leading the Pelicans into a first-round sweep against the Portland Trail Blazers.
In addition, Rondo will also do mentoring duties to young court general Lonzo Ball who has shown flashes of being a talented rebounder and a tough defender for a guard. Nonetheless, both Ball and Rondo have problems shooting from the three-point territory with the former making 30.5 percent of his shots and the latter converting 33.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Stephenson who has been among the longtime rivals of James is set to provide versatility to the LA Lakers’ lineup. The 26-year-old Stephenson averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per contest last season with the Indiana Pacers. However, Stephenson hasn’t been that efficient from the field making just 28.9 percent of his shots from the three-point country.
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