The news broke at 10:45 PM EST that Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers will be indeed sitting out the NBA’s planned restart. This is a big loss for the Lakers on the defensive end, the Lakers were a top 3 defense with Bradley but were ranked 10th without him. Do I think he’s replaceable? On the offensive side yes but not on the defensive side. Guys like JR and Jamal Crawford would most likely average more than 10 if given the Bradley spot. Don’t forget they signed Dion Waiters right before the season got cancelled, and we know what that man can do if he gets the hot hand. Here I’ll be giving you some options that the Lakers could go down to help fill in the empty void of Avery Bradley.
#1 JR Smith: JR as of last night is the frontrunner to get signed to the Lakers to fill in. This is a very smart move by the Lakers if they make it, JR a former 6 man of the year, a former NBA Champion with LeBron. JR has a lot more playoff experience than most of the Lakers roster and that will surely help them. JR on any given night can give you 30+ points if given the opportunity. He already has pre existing chemistry with LeBron and could be the other spot up shooter alongside Danny Green. JR can either be a really big positive for the Lakers or a really bad negative as well. This is the best route they could go with this situation and I’m very happy to see JR back in the league where he belongs.
#2 Jamal Crawford: Jamal has always been known to be a great ball handler and a pure scorer. Has shown by his 50 point game last year with the Suns at the age of 39. But the now 40 year old Jamal can probably still ball for the Lakers in this scenario. Having someone off the bench that has 40 point potential could be very helpful. Jamal can help the younger guys like Caruso, and Kuzma be more comfortable in these high leverage spots. He doesn’t really fit with anyone on the team as well a JR, he’s never played with LeBron nor Anthony Davis. But if the Lakers go this route, they’ll not be disappointed on the offensive side of the ball.
#3 Lance Stephenson: Lance has been the most active out of these 3 players, Lance has been playing overseas for the Liaoning Flying Leopards. Lance overseas was averaging 26.7 PPG, 3.8 AGP, 7.4 RPG, shooting 52% from the field, and 30% from deep. So Lance has been warmed up more to play in the NBA for sometime now and this is the time to bring him back. His last season with the Lakers, he was pretty impressive for the most part. Lance has become a very profound scorer around the world but lacks in basically every other category. Lance has pre-existing chemistry with the Lakers and with guys like Bron, Rondo, McGee, and Kuzma. So bringing Lance back wouldn’t really hurt them a lot but Lance would most likely be the bench SG behind Waiters.