Analyzing the Lakers’ Remarkable Offseason Moves and a Detailed Look Ahead at the 2023-24 NBA Season

The start of training camp for the 2023-24 NBA season is just days away, and this season has the potential to be an exciting and perhaps highly successful one for the Los Angeles Lakers.At this time last year, they were coming off a 2021-22 campaign that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster for them. The Russell Westbrook trade in the summer of 2021 had turned out badly, and they were saddled with an inept roster that seemed to have almost no viable trade assets. In other words, they were stuck between a rock and a hard place, with seemingly no way out.

But executive Rob Pelinka executed multiple trades several months ago that restocked and replenished the team with talent that fit well. It resulted in a very unexpected trip to the Western Conference Finals, and many now feel Los Angeles has a real shot at winning the NBA championship.

That impressive run, as well as some nice offseason moves, have set up quite a bit of anticipation for the 2023-24 campaign.

Lakers’ offseason moves

  • New contracts or extensions were given to Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt
  • Taurean Prince, Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Cam Reddish and Christian Wood were signed as free agents
  • Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis were taken in the draft, while Colin Castleton, D’Moi Hodge and Alex Fudge were signed to two-way contracts as undrafted free agents

Continuity has been the keyword for Pelinka. There were rumors the Lakers may make another run at Kyrie Irving or chase another third star such as Chris Paul or Trae Young. Instead, they opted to run it back and continue to build the chemistry and continuity they forged late last season by keeping all of their key free agents.

Dennis Schroder was perhaps their only key free agent who left. Replacing him is Vincent, who helped the Miami Heat reach the NBA Finals.

Although Vincent is just 6-foot-2, he may be better equipped to guard bigger players than Schroder, and he projects to be a better fit offensively. In last season’s playoffs, he made 44.6 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts, compared to 32.4 percent for Schroder.

Prince gives L.A. a legitimate 3-and-D wing, and Reddish could become one if he finally taps into the potential he has had ever since being a lottery pick in the 2019 draft.

Hayes is a very athletic and speedy center who can block shots, and Wood is truly intriguing. He is a proven scorer and 3-point shooter, as well as a fine rebounder who has had issues on the defensive end and in the locker room. But if he is on his best behavior, the 6-foot-9 big man could end up being an outstanding pickup.

Hood-Schifino, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Indiana University, and Lewis, a 6-foot-7 wing from Pepperdine University, may not play much, barring several significant injuries. But the Lakers are hoping both will pan out and become part of their collection of young and gifted players for the future.

Possible Lakers roster question marks

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