The Los Angeles Lakers made brilliant moves in the offseason to put around LeBron James.
James averaged 35.5 minutes per game last season. King James is entering season number 21 and is currently the oldest player in the NBA.
No NBA player has ever averaged more than 7.4 points in their 21st NBA season; Vince Carter did that in 2018-19, the same season where Dirk Nowitzki averaged 7.3.
Kareem Abdul Jabar, who James passed for the league’s all-time scoring mark, averaged 23.4 points in the 1985-86 season as the oldest player at age 39.
James averaged 28.9 points last season, and he needs 1,348 points to reach 40,000 for his regular-season career.
Individually, this can be a particular season for James, but he continues to share he is playing in the league for championships.
The Lakers were swept in the Western Conference championship round by the NBA champion Denver Nuggets; though they improved, it starts with the contributing health of Anthony Davis.
Davis battled against a younger Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, with Jokic saying he is a two-time MVP for a reason. Davis must find a way to raise his game for any chance of coming out the west.
Austin Reaves will complement Davis and James well. Gabe Vincent will bring a taste of Miami Heat culture to the team and find ways to make shots and contribute defensively. Rui Hachimura showed up last postseason; was it a sample size? Or will he return and contribute consistently?
James and Davis have added motivation after the moves from the offseason by Rob Pelinka. James can still control games with his wisdom and put up scoring numbers. But defensively, he struggles when he has to do more with no help. Davis has to play the five better for the Lakers to stand a chance if they meet Jokic and the Nuggets again. The Lakers, if healthy, should have 48 wins this season or over.