Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Danny Green sees some similarities between his new team and his old one, the reigning champion, Toronto Raptors.
The Los Angeles Lakers changed the course of their franchise this offseason. The days of rebuilding are done, as they traded a majority of their young core to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. Along with those young players, future draft picks were packaged as well, so you know the Lakers are in win-now mode.
The moves they made in free agency also mirror that win-now mindset. They added multiple veterans this offseason, with Danny Green leading the way.
Green came to Los Angeles after helping the Toronto Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. That was the second title that Green has been a part of, as he also won with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.
With 124 games of playoff experience under his belt and two championships, Green knows a thing or two about what it takes to win in this league.
During the Lakers‘ media day, Green spoke about how important it is for the team to develop chemistry if they want to find success on the court. He sees a similarity in this Lakers team and the Raptors team he joined last season.
Guys understand the importance of the opportunity and the magnitude of the situation. It’s a win-now situation. (In Toronto) guys put their pride and egos to the side, and knew it was (more about) the team. I see it here already. Guys are asking each other questions about other organizations … not being a strong personality in terms of this is about me. It’s about the team, and everybody knows that. In order for us to make it, we have to continue that attitude moving forward.”
Last season the Raptors had to work in three new starters by the time they reached the postseason. Green and Kawhi Leonard were acquired in a trade prior to the regular season from the Spurs. At the trade deadline, the team landed Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies and he had to be acclimated into the starting lineup.
This year the Lakers could have at least three new starters as well. LeBron James is the only player from last season’s roster that is locked into a starting role. JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo could also join him, but he will have at least two new running mates presumably in Green and Davis.
Another thing that is working in the Lakers’ favor is that there is a clear hierarchy on the roster. There is the star duo in James and Davis who will do the heavy lifting. The team liked Kyle Kuzma enough to hold him out of Davis trade talks and he should fill in as the de facto No. 3. After that, everyone else will have a defined role and fall in line.
Following those three, the Lakers have a number of veteran players that chose to join the team in free agency or re-signed with the organization in the summer.
While it will still take some time to develop the necessary chemistry to win a championship, Green likes what he has seen thus far. James hosted a training camp for players last week in which they worked out and bonded together over team meals.
That kind of stuff will help get the Lakers speed up the chemistry and cohesion building. There will be some tough decisions to be made when it comes to the starting lineup and rotations, but if everyone buys in and puts the team first, the Lakers will find success on the court this season.