For the most part, it seems the Lakers fully intend to run it back after reaching the Western Conference finals last season.
Not surprisingly, along with all that, the Lakers have every intention of hanging on to guard Austin Reaves and forward Rui Hachimura, Buha wrote, echoing similar reports. Reaves and Hachimura are restricted free agents.
GM Rob Pelinka indicated as much when speaking to reporters, suggesting that the Lakers are banking on continuity around team stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And yes, they fully expect James will not retire and return for another season.
“We’re going to try our best to match players with players that coach (Darvin Ham) wants to coach and that work in his system,” Pelinka told reporters, via Buha. “And I think that’s guys that play tough-minded basketball, that play defense, that play the game the right way and hold themselves accountable, but fit within a team structure. Don’t put themselves first, put other guys first, and that’s got to be our identity and it will be our identity.
“And I think when rosters really work, is when they reflect the personality of the head coach. Those are archetypes and the things that we are for on July 1.”
All indications, both publicly and privately, point to the Lakers planning to re-sign RFAs Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and UFA D’Angelo Russell.
They are also expected to try to retain UFAs Dennis Schröder and Lonnie Walker IV.
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 28, 2023