The Los Angeles Lakers basically have a new team on the court this upcoming season surrounding cornerstones LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, there are two players on the team that may have huge role changes for next. The two players that will garner a lot of attention are Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.
Carmelo Anthony’s role for Next Season
The future Hall of Famer, Carmelo Anthony, has had an amazing career as the only thing he is missing on his resume is a title. In his nineteen-year career, he is a ten-time All-Star and has one scoring title. At this point of the season, it is hard to tell what role Anthony will have on the court.
Last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, he started three of the 69 games he played. Head coach, Frank Vogel, has some tough decisions to make with the number of combinations he can put together for the starting lineup.
Frank Vogel said,” When we spoke before he signed here, I told him that I envisioned a big role on this team…don’t know what that’s going to look like, whether he’s going to start, whether he’s going to come off the bench, but that he’s going to be a factor for us.”
The Lakers have lost some of their best three-point shooters this offseason, which would give Melo more opportunities to score and have a major role on offense. Trevor Ariza is also dealing with an injury that could keep him sidelined for a while. Anthony had a career-low in minutes last season but had his second-high shooting percentage mark from behind the arc since joining the league.
Anthony does not feel too concerned about his potential role as he played off the bench for nearly two seasons. Anthony reiterated the fact that he is still passionate about the game of basketball, and that he is open to any role whether he is a starter or not.
What Can We Expect from Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook was undoubtedly the Lakers’ biggest addition this offseason as he joins this third team in three years. Westbrook’s former General Manager, Tommy Sheppard, stated that Westbrook never forced a trade to leave the Wizards in the offseason. Westbrook expressed interest in going back home to play in Los Angeles, but only for the purple and gold.
The trade most likely would have never come to fruition with the Los Angeles Clippers as it is extremely difficult to match due to his massive contract. The Clippers would have had to deal Paul George who recently signed an extension. Before George was dealt from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Clippers, Westbrook wanted to join Kawhi Leonard at that point in time as the team was searching for a star to pair up with their franchise player.
Despite his many accolades throughout his career, he doesn’t necessarily fit what the Lakers need for next season. Westbrook will most likely not be the player with the highest usage rate on the roster. Westbrook shot 31.5 percent from the three-point line last season.
What the league can expect is a dip in his all-around statistics as the offense will run through LeBron James and Anthony Davis first. Westbrook will be able to put up video game-type numbers he once did as he broke the record for the most triple-doubles in a season. At the same time, he will still be a threat to opposing teams every game.
It will be interesting to see how Westbrook and Anthony mesh on their new team