Lakers guard Avery Bradley decided to not be part of the NBA’s return in Orlando, staying with his family and his 6-year-old son who has a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illness.
After Bradley’s decision the Lakers have a role to fill, so how do they do that?
First of all, nobody should even question Bradley’s decision. Family and health will always come first. But now, talking about basketball, the Lakers have played just fine without the 29-year-old guard.
The team has a 13-1 record when Bradley doesn’t play. Bradley’s offensive stats aren’t impressive, but the aspect that has made him so valuable this season is his defense.
He is a top 5 guard in the NBA in terms of field goal % allowed. So the Lakers will have a tough task trying to replace him.
The Lakers have various options to occupy his role.
His roster spot will probably be filled by signing former LeBron James teammate, J.R. Smith, but Smith hasn’t played in the NBA since 2018, so don’t expect him to take Bradley’s minutes.
The team needs to fill the 24 minutes Bradley has been playing this season, and that can be divided between two or three players. Those players are Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Inserting Alex Caruso into the starting lineup can give the Lakers various benefits. The Alex Caruso-LeBron James pairing has been exceptional all year. Their NET rating leads the league and is the best ratings in the last two years for a pairing. The other option is KCP, who’s playing style is similar to Bradley, a 3 point shooter who is solid on defense. Both of them should get more minutes, and if the team is struggling with the three-point shot, they can always insert a player like Quinn Cook or J.R. Smith into the rotation.
What do you think Laker Nation, how should the Lakers replace Avery Bradley?
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