The Los Angeles Lakers are making all the headlines yet again by completing a blockbuster trade for 9-time All-Star Russell Westbrook. In typical Lakers fashion, they didn't stop there and have added some more big names to the roster.
Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, and Kendrick Nunn also joined the roster and have made their names known around the league. Of course, Carmelo is a 10-time All-Star while Dwight is an 8-time All-Star with both players heading to the Hall of Fame. Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard are also joining 3 former All-Star players in Marc Gasol, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers are the first team in NBA history to have 5 multiple-time All-Stars on one team, but they are also the team with the oldest average age in NBA history. The amount of talent in Los Angeles right now is ridiculous, and so is the average age of their squad. Here is the roster breakdown with every player analyzed by their position.
Russell Westbrook - 32 Years Old
Say what you will about Russell Westbrook, but there is no denying he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who will make the Lakers a much more dominant team. Westbrook is a 9-time All-Star, former MVP, and the man who has averaged a triple-double for the 4th straight season.
His physicality and athleticism will give the Lakers an incredible advantage, and he is fresh off a season averaging 22.2 PPG, 11.5 RPG, and 11.7 APG, and has a great chance to win his first ring as he approaches 33 years old. Even as he ages, Russell Westbrook is one of the top point guards in the league and will be the 3rd best player for the Purple and Gold.
Kendrick Nunn - 26 Years Old
Kendrick Nunn has played very well for the Miami Heat, so it was a shocker that they wouldn't try to bring him back on a long-term deal. Nunn was a standout rookie averaging 15.3 PPG and averaged 14.6 PPG last year as a scoring point guard.
Nunn lowers the average age of the Lakers group as he is only 26 years old, and he will be expected to provide solid cover behind Russell Westbrook who might miss games because the All-Star always has nagging injuries.
Kent Bazemore - 32 Years Old
Kent Bazemore has had a long and pretty successful career, most recently with the Golden State Warriors. Bazemore was brought to the Warriors to provide cover for the absent Klay Thompson and was decent by averaging 7.2 PPG in 19.9 MPG.
Bazemore is a career 35.6% shooter from three, so he will be one of the primary knockdown shooters from three when the stars get him open looks. Bazemore will only be required to provide depth and play when necessary.
Talen Horton-Tucker - 20 Years Old
The versatile guard that the Lakers refuse to let go, Talen Horton-Tucker is primed for a breakout season. He will benefit greatly from the veterans in this team as he finds his niche as an all-around scorer and player.
Horton-Tucker averaged 9.0 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 2.8 APG for the Lakers this season and is only 20 years old. In a roster filled with old guys, Horton-Tucker should be relied upon to bring energy and hustle every night for the Lakers.
Malik Monk - 23 Years Old
Malik Monk is an explosive scorer and he has yet to have his breakout season. He was solid for the Hornets last year by averaging 11.7 PPG on 40.1% shooting from three, and he was a very surprising addition by the Lakers in free agency.
Many expected Monk to sign for a long-term deal somewhere, but he opted to learn and try to win a championship with the Lakers franchise. It is clear Monk is looking to stack the deck in his team's favor and will be relied upon to be one of the top shooters on the team.
Wayne Ellington - 33 Years Old
Veteran Wayne Ellington will hit 34 years old next season, but he will always be a great knockdown shooter. For his career, Ellington is averaging 38.2% shooting from deep and shot the ball extremely well last year for the Pistons.
In 46 games, Ellington made 42.2% of his threes and as long as he can hover around 40.0% for the Lakers, he will play his role perfectly. Expect Wayne Ellington to get a ton of open shots when the superstars drive the lane and kick.
LeBron James - 36 Years Old
LeBron James wasn't the best player in the world last year, but he has a chance to be that again this season. The King is by far the smartest player in the league and the best all-around leader in the game right now besides Chris Paul. James averaged 25.0 PPG and 7.7 RPG last season, and will certainly enjoy having more talent on his team.
James is 36 years old and will be 37 next season, meaning Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook will have to be the best players on the team during the regular season. LeBron's presence in the locker room is enough to make everyone better and expect The King to have his best shot at earning his 5th NBA championship.
Anthony Davis - 28 Years Old
Anthony Davis was sensational during the Lakers' title run in 2020, but injuries ruined his season last year. Davis couldn't stay healthy and left LeBron James zero chance of leading the team to the NBA Finals again.
If Davis is healthy, he will be the best scorer on the team that now features a ton of talented stars. Davis still averaged 21.8 PPG and 7.9 RPG despite playing 36 games and should be back to his best following a long rest this offseason.
Carmelo Anthony - 37 Years Old
Finally, NBA fans get to enjoy Carmelo Anthony alongside LeBron James on the same team. Anthony snubbed LeBron James when he was recruited to join the Miami Heat, but at 37 years old, he is more than happy to join forces.
Playing with Portland over the last 2 years has brought the love of the game back for the 10-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer. He has accepted his role as a squad player and flourished last season by averaging 13.4 PPG. If Anthony can provide 25-30 MPG with similar numbers, the Lakers have a great shot to become NBA champions again.
Trevor Ariza - 36 Years Old
Trevor Ariza always seems to have a job in the NBA because he is a perfect forward in today's game. The only problem is that Ariza is 36 years old with a ton of mileage on his legs. The veteran has now played 16 seasons in the league.
Ariza has been on a couple of title contenders before, including the Lakers where he won his first championship in 2009. Expect Ariza to play garbage minutes or become a role player whenever there are injuries or load management.
Marc Gasol - 36 Years Old
Gasol is one of the most experienced players in the league right now because of his NBA and international experience. Gasol averaged 5.0 PPG and 4.1 RPG last season, and his impact will go beyond his pedestrian numbers.
Gasol is 6'11" so his size will be a factor in the paint for the Lakers. He is a tremendous passer and can hit the three as well when open, so expect Gasol to share minutes with Dwight Howard and also Anthony Davis in small-ball lineups.
Dwight Howard - 35 Years Old
Dwight Howard should have never left Los Angeles because he was a critical part of the Lakers' title run in 2020. His experience and hustle on the defensive end were sorely needed last year because players do not have the same motivation for dirty work like Howard does.
Dwight is nowhere near the same player who won 3 Defensive Player of the Year Awards, but he is a great role player who averaged 7.0 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 17.3 MPG.
Will The Lakers Win The Championship With Such An Old Roster?
If the Lakers stay healthy, they are the favorites to win it all. LeBron James is the smartest player in the world and his sheer presence makes any team a title contender. If James is rested and healthy, he is back in the All-Star Team as a top-5 player. Similarly, Anthony Davis is the best big man in the NBA when healthy and he will be back as well.
Russell Westbrook brings fire, energy, and dominance at the point guard position and he completes the best Big Three in the NBA right behind the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers, however, have a deeper team than the Nets. Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, and Talen Horton-Tucker are all in their prime and are great role players. They will be joined by future Hall of Famers Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Marc Gasol who are still effective at their age.
Even if the Nets have 3 superstars in their prime, the Lakers' role players are much better and can rebound, defend, and shoot at a much higher rate. If the stars stay healthy and team chemistry is built during the regular season, the oldest roster in the NBA will become NBA champions.
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