The Oklahoma City Thunder won the draft. This was the first year in my Thunder fandom where I was nervous about the draft. This was going to be the make-or-break it for the rebuild. For Thunder fans in the last ten years, the draft meant drafting raw athletic long-term projects with later picks. Players like Josh Huestis, Terrance Ferguson, and...
LeBron James's New Role
The King Has Arrived
The pattern over the second half of LeBron James' career has been to surround him with shooters, allowing him the freedom to create for both himself and others. It is no coincidence that in his first 7 years (pre-Heat) LeBron averaged 6.9 assists then and in the 8 years since, he's averaged 7.3 assists a game including a career high in each of the last two season topped off by over 9 assists a game last season which was good for second in the NBA and first in the Eastern Conference. That is the blueprint that has led propelled LeBron to 8 straight NBA finals, so surely the Lakers would follow the same blueprint?
Nope. The 2018-19 Lakers return a roster that finished next to bottom in three-point percentage last season while the LeBron led Cavaliers finished 6th. In fact, you could argue that for the first time in his career LeBron will be the best three-point shooter on his own team. So, if they're not surrounding LeBron with elite shooters what exactly is the plan in LA?
The plan is to let LeBron loose on the league as a primary scorer. By not surrounding LeBron with elite shooters, the Lakers have surrounded him with elite playmakers in the likes of Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, and Lance Stephenson. More specifically in the point guard position the Lakers have provided LeBron with two elite playmakers. Rondo is one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history with 3 seasons as the league leader in assists, while Lonzo Ball averaged 7 assists a game last season as a rookie.
For the first time since 08 when he finished the season as the scoring leader, we will see a LeBron James focused on scoring and it will be a sight to behold.
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The Chicago Bulls surprised everyone last year by making the biggest splash in free agency, signing Demar Derozan, Alex Caruso, and Lonzo Ball to pair with Zach Lavine and Nikola Vucevic. Safe to say, the Bulls exceed expectations. Before the season, it was unclear how Lavine and Derozan would fit next to each other. They put those conversations to...