Rob Pelinka Has Provided Frank Vogel with the NBA’s Most Versatile Roster!
Sometimes you have to wait until a masterpiece is complete to appreciate how great a job the artist did. That’s clearly the case with the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason rebuild by their VP of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka.
Pelinka launched the offseason by trading for talented 18.9 points per game point guard and 6MOY runner-up Dennis Schroder and followed that by signing 18.6 points per game forward and 6MOY winner Montrezl Harrell. Happy Lakers fans could be forgiven for thinking Pelinka was only making sure the Lakers had enough offensive firepower to take over games when LeBron was resting on the bench or taking a night off for load management.
After all, replacing Rondo and Green’s 15.1 points per game with Schroder and Harrell’s 37.5 points per game was a massive injection of high powered scoring into an offensive roster that was anemic aside from LeBron and AD. Those two moves alone represented a major upgrade on what was already a proven championship roster and would have been enough most offseasons to win Lakers’ VP of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka votes for EOY.
But that’s the problem with judging a work of art before it is completed because basketball pundits and junkies needed to wait until Pelinka was finished to truly appreciate what an incredible masterpiece he had created. Rob wasn’t going to be satisfied with juicing up the Lakers’ offense at the cost of weakening their defense and losing elite defenders like Green and Howard clearly left holes that needed filling in the Lakers’ championship defense.
The missing pieces of the Pelinka’s defensive solution quickly fell into place as the Lakers’ signed veteran 3&D guard Wesley Matthews to replace Danny Green and former DPOY Marc Gasol to replace Dwight Howard at center. The Lakers not only turbocharged their offense by adding last year’s 6MOY winner and runner-up but also elevated their defense by adding two elite defenders who ranked second and third in NBA defensive rating last season.
The result is Pelinka has given head coach Vogel the most versatile roster in the league. Vogel will have the power to use his deep and diverse roster to create nightmare defensive and offensive matchups court at every position. He can play a dominant defensive starting lineup featuring Caldwell-Pope, Matthews, James, Davis, and Gasol or a juggernaut offensive lineup with high-octane scorers in Schroder, Caldwell-Pope, James, Davis, and Harrell.
Last offseason, Rob was hindered by waiting for Kawhi to make a decision. This season, he made sure not to make the same mistake and the result is a Lakers championship team dramatically better at both ends of the court.
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