The Lakers’ incredibly unbalanced roster will hold the team back

Mar 27, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) walks off the court at the end of the second quarter of their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) walks off the court at the end of the second quarter of their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off of the most disappointing season in franchise history and the front office did not do much to keep that from happening again in the 2022-23 season. At least this time there won’t be as high of expectations.

Los Angeles made additions but the additions were small in nature and do not change the dynamic of the team. This is because the Lakers were restricted in what they could do with all the money tied up to LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

There were still some decent minimum free agents that the Lakers could have pursued and you would have thought that the front office would at least build a well-rounded roster that compliments itself. You would be wrong in thinking that.

Instead, Rob Pelinka and co. built an incredibly unbalanced roster that is going to make it very hard for the team to be successful in the 2022-23 season.

The Los Angeles Lakers have way too many guards and not enough wings.

When it comes to role players, wings are arguably the best thing that a team can have. Having a wing that can defend and knock down shots, especially with LeBron James on the team, is massive.

It is even more important to have these kinds of players when Russell Westbrook is also on the floor. The floor spacing is really bad with Westbrook and at least loading up with interchangeable wings would help solve that. Having guys like Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma on this roster would be huge.

Instead, the Lakers went out and added guard after guard to the depth chart. Even in the team’s genius move for Patrick Beverley they gave up not one but two wings, including Stanley Johnson in the trade when they should have included someone else.

The guards that the Lakers have are Westbrook, Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, Max Christie and Lonnie Walker IV. The team might try to pass Walker off as a wing but he is not that. He is a two-guard (and not a very great one at that). He might play small forward, but he does not fit the mold of being a true wing.

Wenyen Gabriel is listed as a power forward but he can’t really shoot and is more of a small-ball five, joining Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones in that regard. That leaves just two role players that are considered “wings” on this roster” Juan Toscano-Anderson and Troy Brown Jr.

Toscano-Anderson is only six-six and shot 32.2% from three last season (although he shot over 40% the year prior). Brown is also six-six, shot 35.3% from three and only averaged 16 minutes per game. JTA averaged 13.6 minutes per game.

The Lakers’ only two wing options averaged less than 30 minutes per game combined last season. That is a problem.

This is going to result in an undersized Lakers team that is going to get torched on the defensive side of the basketball. It would be one thing if the Lakers could at least make that up with shooting but they do not have any great shooters, either.

Instead, the Lakers have an undersized team that won’t defend very well and won’t be able to hit threes to keep up with their competition. Unless a roster-altering Russell Westbrook trade happens, I would bet heavily against the Lakers this season.