After an abysmal season in Los Angeles, the Lakers need to have a big offseason if they want any hope of competing for a title in the 2022-23 campaign.
With LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they have the foundations of a competitive roster, but Rob Pelinka hasn't yet made enough moves to truly maximize the talent of his two superstars.
In a recent article, ESPN's Kevin Pelton ranked L.A.'s offseason, giving a B- grade overall for the additions they made (and failed to make) so far.
After disappointing results from their fleet of veteran minimum signings last summer, the Lakers wisely pivoted toward younger options in free agency this time around. None of the players they've added to their roster is older than 29. For minimum pickups, I particularly like bringing in Troy Brown Jr. as a player with upside and Juan Toscano-Anderson for his passing and defensive versatility.
On the downside, the Lakers didn't add a single reliable two-way contributor to fill their biggest need. The Lakers used their taxpayer midlevel to add Lonnie Walker IV, who shot just 31% from 3-point range last season (34% for his career). And even if Walker takes a step forward, as with Malik Monk, the Lakers may be hard-pressed to keep him beyond this season using non-Bird rights.
A whopping 10 players who suited up for the Purple and Gold a season ago remain unsigned through the first four weeks of the offseason. That should tell you all that you need to know about where those players currently stand in their careers.
Pelinka did an admirable job replacing those older guys with young and rising scorers, but he has yet to strengthen the defense, which is a side of the game the Lakers mastered during their title run in 2020.
Unless Pelinka pulls off something big here (like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving), it's hard to give them anything higher than a B. With Russell Westbrook still on the squad and many holes that still need to be filled, the Lakers will have their work cut out for them over the next few weeks.
Here's to hoping they are not done shaping and molding this team.