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Anthony Davis Highlights Jarred Vanderbilt & Gabe Vincent As Key Players On Roster

The opening week of NBA free agency is in the books and the Los Angeles Lakers have surprisingly not brought in any new faces yet.

The Lakers did well to re-sign a couple of their own free agents in LeBron James and Max Christie. James’ contract in particular is interesting as he took slightly less than the maximum to ensure that Los Angeles stayed underneath the second apron. Had James not done that, the Lakers would be strapped on ways to improve the roster.

While the 2024-25 season is still a few months away, Anthony Davis and James will still be on the court as they prepare for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Davis and James were seen meeting up with the rest of Team USA and the Americans will hope to bring back the gold for a fifth consecutive time.

After a Team USA practice, Davis was asked about the state of the roster and brought up Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent as two key pieces, via Arash Markazi of The Sporting Tribune:

“We’re under a new system with JJ and two of our elite players were hurt,” Davis said. “Vando who was really good for us on the defensive end and offensively, too, with the offensive rebounding, his slashing, screen setting. And Gabe who was really out for the entire year if really you look at it. A guy who’s another point guard for us who can shoot the basketball, good defensively.

“We don’t know what we could’ve been if we had those guys especially for the playoffs, especially Vando cause he’s a big part of what we do defensively. But we look at the lineup and we come in ready to work. Last year is last year. We can’t say this is the same team. It could be a different result. So for us it’s about coming in with the mindset of getting the work and seeing how it plays out.”

Both Vanderbilt and Vincent were expected to be major role players, but they dealt with injuries that robbed them of most of their 2023-24 campaigns. While Davis has a point about them coming back healthier, the front office needs to understand that the current iteration of the roster is not good enough to compete for a title.

Lakers’ Anthony Davis unfazed by JJ Redick’s decision to leave him off All-Defense ballot

Head coach JJ Redick previously said he wants Anthony Davis to be the hub of what the Lakers do on both ends, though there were some concerns about potential friction between the two after Redick left Davis off his All-Defense ballot. However, Davis is reportedly unfazed by the decision and is ready to work with Redick to help Los Angeles win games.