Predicting the Lakers perfect starting lineup after an ideal offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers have limited resources, but still enough to make a splash this offseason. What would an ideal starting lineup look like if everything worked out this summer?
Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers have experienced the full spectrum of success since the dawn of the LeBron James era. Between a championship in 2020, a Conference Finals appearance in 2023, first-round exits in 2021 and 2024, and outright missing the playoffs in 2019 and 2022, Lakers fans have seen it all with James at the helm.

This offseason is unlike any before, however, as the Lakers are now beginning to usher in the era that will ideally accentuate and outlast James' contributions.

With this sense of urgency in mind, the front office is preparing to make the most of its limited resources this summer. Much is still up in the air, as both LeBron James and D'Angelo Russell have player options, and the New Orleans Pelicans reserve the right to either take the Lakers’ first-round draft pick in 2024 or defer to 2025.

But what if everything managed to work out for the Lakers this summer?

In a truly perfect world, other general managers would give the Lakers everything they want for the cheapest of prices. In an ideal world that remains realistic, however, Los Angeles would be able to execute a strong offseason plan within the realm of possibility.

In the event that the latter occurs, a question is presented: What would the perfect Lakers starting lineup look like? Let's start with the obvious.

Starting Lakers Center: Anthony Davis

Two of the players in this ideal starting lineup are to be expected, with the first being Anthony Davis. Davis, 31, is coming off of one of the best individual seasons of his NBA career, during which he was productive and readily available.

As the Lakers look to win a second championship during the Davis-James era, locking him in as a starter is as obvious a choice as any.

Davis finished the 2023-24 regular season with averages of 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals on 55.6 percent shooting from the field. He did this in 76 games played, which set a new personal best for appearances made in a single campaign.

Davis’ 35.5 minutes per game also marked his highest averages since 2017-18, when he appeared in 75 games for the New Orleans Pelicans at 36.4 minutes played.

Davis’ efforts on the defensive end of the floor earned him All-Defensive First Team honors for the third time in his career. It was his fifth career All-Defense nod overall. There’s reason to believe that Davis will continue to perform at this level as he anchors next season’s team.

Coupled with his scoring, which ranked fourth among power forwards and centers, Davis is an obvious lock in the starting lineup. In terms of whether he should be a 4 or a 5, Davis played 97 percent of his minutes at center this past season.

Finding the right fit alongside him requires depth more than it calls for a single player who can bump him back to the 4-spot.