As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare themselves for the upcoming season, they must prepare for anything that may come their way. With multiple signings over the summer, they hope that their diverse roster will bring them to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Here are three breakout candidates for the Lakers in 2019:
3: Quinn Cook
After playing four full years at Duke, Cook was undrafted and became an NBA journeyman of sorts. Signing with Los Angeles makes it Cook’s sixth home in seven seasons. He is one of multiple players on the current Lakers team with NBA Championship experience.
After shifting from the Golden State Warriors, Cook is once again surrounded by a supporting cast of stars. Although he won’t be an immediate starter, we have seen other role players, JaVale McGee for example, shine when they are on the court with LeBron James. With a career average of 7.4 points and 2.2 assists, this could be the best season of Cook’s young career.
2: JaVale McGee
His experience with five teams prior to joining Los Angeles have resulted in two NBA Championships. Despite a buyout to bring Dwight Howard back to the Lakers, McGee is preparing for a breakout season.
The 31-year old could be a key asset. As one of the more seasoned veterans on the roster, McGee saw a rise in almost every important statistic last season. His main concern involves how durable he can be in heavy minutes across an entire year, but if the cards fall the right way, this could be another career year for McGee.
1: Kyle Kuzma
Since being apart of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kuzma has proven to be a standout player. With a career average of 17.3 points, he was named as the Rising Stars Challenge MVP in 2018. However, the 24-year old is still often overlooked in a cast full of household names.
With the assistance of James, Rondo, and other pass-first players, Kuzma could now be in a position of success. As he hampers an ankle injury from USA Basketball, the Lakers should focus on him as a primary scoring option in 2019.
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