The Los Angeles Lakers have been facing rumors regarding the potential retirement of NBA star Kobe Bryant in the near future. While the NBA team's key player repeatedly denied these speculations, the fact that the once stellar performance of Kobe Bryant in the hard wood has been tainted by injuries, health issues, prolonged absences and other concerns can no longer be denied by the fans and followers of the Los Angeles Lakers. With this in mind, it is only reasonable for the Los Angeles Lakers to look for a potential lineup that can provide support to Kobe Bryant and serve as his backup on the nights he could no longer bring his A-game.
Hence, the entrance of rookie D'Angelo Russell in the Los Angeles Lakers locker room had been widely anticipated. Pegged as the potential 2016 Rookie of the Year by his fellow NBA first timers, D'Angelo Russell achieved an average of 19.7 point, 5.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds during his year with the Ohio State basketball team. Should the rookie star live up to his potential, the Los Angeles Lakers could have a James Harden in the making in their hands, according to ESPN.
With the development of D'Angelo Russell within the NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers could make use of the high three-point percentage of the Ohio State player as well as his notable defensive rebound rate of 15.4 percent - the best among all the college point guards rated in Chad Ford's Top 100. With a physique that could only be comparable to John Wall of the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie boasts of the 12th longest wingspan from among the NBA stars recorded from the year 2000 to the present.
Another Los Angeles Lakers rookie is Anthony Brown. Predicted to be the answer to the small forward issue the Los Angeles Lakers had been struggling with in the past NBA seasons, the entrance of Anthony Brown in the team could be another contribution to the post Kobe Bryant seasons. In an interview with Lakers.com, Anthony Brown disclosed his intentions in helping out the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of working with Kobe Bryant.
"Being able to spread the floor for Kobe [Bryant] and those guys is key," shared Anthony Brown. The Los Angeles Lakers rookie added, "The three-and-D is definitely an evolving position. I'm just trying to be the best player I can." He also expressed his confidence over the fact that he is the only rookie acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers who managed to have a full college experience. At 22, Anthony Brown deems himself "a lot more mature than a lot of the younger guys." The Los Angeles Lakers rookie also shared that he has the "the ability to pick up concepts really quick," which is a skill he believes could certainly provide him a competitive advantage.
Although a third rookie, Larry Nance, Jr., was signed up earlier this year by the Los Angeles Lakers, sports analysts believe that the chemistry between Anthony Brown and D'Angelo Russell is definitely palpable. If these rookies truly develop into the potential players the experts perceive them to be, then it could be said that the Los Angeles Lakers would remain as an NBA contender despite the departure of Kobe Bryant in the imminent future.