“I love what the Lakers did”: Charles Barkley applauds Rob Pelinka’s masterful roster built around LeBron James and Anthony Davis

Mary Raleigh

Charles Barkley is optimistic about the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA 2023-24 season. The Hall of Famer believes that the Purple and Gold have a bonafide chance to make a championship run this time, following the team’s offseason moves. The franchise managed to retain a major chunk of their roster from last season while also making some smart and serviceable upgrades in the summer, and Barkley is happy with the pieces the front office has put around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, the former Phoenix Suns star shared his thoughts on the balance of power out west, and believed the Suns, Lakers, and the Denver Nuggets were legitimate contenders for a title.

“I love what the Lakers did this summer. I love what the Lakers did, and also you can’t disrespect the Nuggets. I think they lost a couple of key pieces, that’s the only thing that concerns me about the Nuggets, but you really got to love what the Lakers have done and the Suns have done.”

The team’s most recent acquisition was Christian Wood, and prior to adding the former Dallas Mavericks big, the front office also gave Davis a contract extension. Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura were re-signed and the team also managed to acquire free agents Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, and Jaxson Hayes.

With the team boasting of depth that supports both ends of the floor, the present roster is reminiscent of the side that won the 2020 NBA championship. As Barkley puts it, the team has made the right moves and only time will tell if they can make a deeper run this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers offseason may have just made them legitimate title contenders

Over the last few seasons, much of the load has primarily been on LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Following the failed experiment with Russell Westbrook, the team’s think-tank ensured that they would add the right role players around their two superstars instead of going for a third big name, which has been a pattern with the side.

While there have been murmurs that the possibility of Kyrie Irving joining remains strong, the outfit as constructed at this point covers all bases that the team lacked last season.

With three-point shooting addressed in the form of Rusell and Vincent, and the defense coming in the form of Prince and Jarred Vanderbilt, the Darvin Ham-led side that emphasizes the “defense-first” philosophy looks lethal with Davis in tow.

LA are one of the favorites to win the title heading into the new season, and their preseason games will provide an inkling of what the side can do.

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