Rob Pelinka fixed the Los Angeles Lakers roster with a couple of tweaks at the trade deadline.
He offloaded Russell Westbrook’s big contract by adding players who fit better alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James, all while retaining a first-round pick.
The Lakers didn’t lose playmaking by adding D’Angelo Russell, who’s a solid slasher and pick-and-roll player.
They added a versatile defender in Jarred Vanderbilt, who can play both forward positions and even some small-ball center without hurting their spacing.
And they also brought in an outstanding three-point shooter in Malik Beasley, a guy that can get hot in the blink of an eye from beyond the arc.
The Lakers rounded their roster up by adding Mo Bamba to replace Thomas Bryant.
And while Bamba hasn’t lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he first entered the league, he’s still a lottery pick who can block shots and dominate both sides of the glass when given the opportunity.
That’s why NBA analyst Kenny Smith believes this is the most talent LeBron James has had around him in the Lakers since they won the NBA championship in the bubble:
“I’mma tell you what. I watched the Los Angeles Lakers play last night. That’s the most talented Lakers team that LeBron has been on since [Kyle] Kuzma and those guys in the bubble,” Smith said. “Without question. That has a lot of talent on that team.”
"That's the most talented Lakers team that LeBron has been on since [Kyle] Kuzma and those guys in the bubble. Without question."
Agree with @TheJetOnTNT? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/MMAeWEDBbO
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 17, 2023
This is right on point by Kenny there.
The Lakers were a bad team since trading for Westbrook, not because of Russ himself but because of everything they had to give up to get him.
Now, they have depth at every position, and the roster fits well altogether, although one can only wonder if Pelinka waited too long to make these moves.NEXT: Colin Cowherd Says There Could Be Trouble Brewing With Lakers