Did Lakers Make Mistake Not Signing James Ennis II?

James Ennis II, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

If there is anything the Los Angeles Lakers have been this NBA season it is inconsistent. Everyone is trying to navigate players being in and out of the lineup because of injuries or COVID-19 positive tests, but the Lakers have had one of the tougher goes at it.

They have had 13 different players start a game this season, seven of whom have started double-digit games. Los Angeles has essentially started a new group of five no more than two games consecutively all season, which has made things very difficult in the chemistry and cohesion department.

While many people believed this to be a roster that would contend for a championship, they have looked far from title contenders thus far this season. They are currently 19-19 as they have hovered right around the .500 mark for the entire season.

Any team that has LeBron James on it cannot be counted out. Even at 37-years old, James remains as dominant as ever on the basketball court. However, the question remains if this is a roster that can compete for a title.

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One of the glaring weaknesses of the team is their wing depth. Outside of James and Trevor Ariza, the team doesn’t have true small forwards to rely on. Carmelo Anthony is better suited as a power forward, Talen Horton-Tucker looks best in the backcourt.

Veterans such as Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore have filled in there, but they are also better suited for backcourt roles. Stanley Johnson was signed with a hardship waiver and has seemed to earn a contract that will keep him with the team beyond his 10-day deals, which will help.

However, the player that the Los Angeles Lakers missed on bringing in was James Ennis II. It was surprising to see Ennis go the duration of the offseason without landing a contract. He had a good 2020-21 season with the Orlando Magic, as he shot 43.3 percent from the 3-point line. The Lakers could have certainly used that 3-point shooting.

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James Ennis II would have also filled the glaring hole at the small forward position. It was an area the team needed to address while Ariza was sidelined and failed to do so. With James now playing more minutes in the frontcourt with Anthony Davis sidelined and the team not getting production from their centers, a wing such as Ennis is still a need.

Los Angeles has a relatively unbalanced roster. Look for them to try and fix that in the coming weeks on the trade and buyout market, as they will be seeking upgrades to help push them back up the standings in the Western Conference.

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