In a surprising turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers have shifted their approach to building their roster. Known for their willingness to acquire star talent, the Lakers have taken a different route following their unsuccessful pursuit of Russell Westbrook. Since the 2023 trade deadline, the team has committed to bolstering their depth, a stark departure from their previous strategy.
The Lakers’ pursuit of Kyle Lowry, a veteran player and Raptors legend, is a testament to this change. Lowry was contemplating his next destination after the 2020 playoffs, which saw the Raptors exit in the second round to the Boston Celtics, a heated rival of the Lakers. Known for his defensive prowess and respectable shooting abilities, Lowry’s addition to a core featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis could have provided a better fit compared to Russell Westbrook’s ball-dominant style, which came with defensive shortcomings.
With Russell Westbrook in the lineup, the Lakers failed to secure a postseason berth in 2022 and were on the brink of missing out again last season. However, they made a decisive move at the trade deadline, shipping Westbrook out and acquiring D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jared Vanderbilt in return.
While Kyle Lowry’s performance has declined in recent years due to his age, he remained a valuable asset to the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat during this year’s playoffs. Nonetheless, it appears that Lakers’ General Manager Rob Pelinka is not losing much sleep over losing the opportunity to sign Lowry, given the current guard rotation in Los Angeles.
The Lakers’ new focus on depth signals a strategic shift aimed at surrounding their star talents, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, with a more balanced and cohesive supporting cast. This adjustment reflects the organization’s commitment to achieving long-term success, marking a significant departure from their previous star-centric approach.
As the Lakers continue to reshape their roster in pursuit of championship glory, their fans and basketball enthusiasts alike will be closely watching how this new strategy unfolds on the court. The team’s ability to adapt and succeed in this evolving landscape will be a storyline to follow in the coming seasons.