The Los Angeles Lakers have been busy this NBA offseason, acquiring players left and right in an effort to build a team capable enough to stand on its own once Kobe Bryant makes his exit. Although the talks of retirement of the Black Mamba keep getting slammed by the Los Angeles Lakers, the inevitable departure of Kobe Bryant is still taken into consideration. In fact, the active acquisition of the Los Angeles Lakers of rookies deemed to be potential replacements of Kobe Bryant illustrate the NBA team's goal of creating a group strong enough to watch the veteran athlete go. Hence, the addition of Russell D'Angelo, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson is a clear sign of that move that will see Kobe Bryant leave the Los Angeles Lakers for good.
To continue with their effort to create a young and talented team, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Robert Upshaw to a multi-year contract this week. The 7-foot tall NBA star was first seen in the Los Angeles Lakers locker room during the Summer League. Although he had been plagued with health issues, the newly minted member of the Los Angeles Lakers roster showed notable potential throughout the program.
"Robert is an outstanding pick-and-roll center who showed an adept ability to set solid picks for D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson at Summer League," shared Apratim Ghosh of SB Nation. The sports analyst added, "His work around the rim on offense was elite at the University of Washington, shooting 74.7 percent at the rim and ranking tenth among all players with 75+ FGAs."
However, the Los Angeles Lakers still need a reliable veteran in the roster. While the NBA team is as formidable as ever this season, it will not be able to outperform the LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers or Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors with only Kobe Bryant as the veteran playmaker. Moreover, the age and health issues of Kobe Bryant make him a vulnerable part of the Los Angeles Lakers. Hence, the addition of Brazilian vet Marcelo Huertas in the Los Angeles Lakers roster was a definite nod to the need for expertise and wisdom in the team. Apart from the experience, the presence of Huertas will certainly boost the backcourt - a spot sorely lacking in manpower, with only Nick Young standing by the posts.
"The additions of both him [Metta World Peace] and Huertas could go a long way in helping to guide youngsters like Russell and Clarkson down the path of success in the league and could help a young nucleus mature a lot quicker," noted Carter Johnson of isportsweb. The sports correspondent added, "However, time can only tell the impact that these two 30-somethings could have with one of the league's most inexperienced rosters."