Is LeBron James Still Better Than 95% of the NBA? (And Is That Good Enough for the Lakers?)
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While a lot of the attention (understandably) around LeBron James following the season ending Game 4 loss to the Nuggets earlier this week was centered on the whole "I might retire" thing, James also had other interesting stuff to say. Notably, he told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that should he decide to come back and play next year (which is where most would put their money, even if some aren't taking the possibility of retirement seriously enough), he believes a full summer of rest and rehab of his injured foot would get him back to the player he's been. Why? "Because I'm still better than 90% of the NBA," he said. "Maybe 95." So is he right? (Spoiler alert: Yes.) But the bigger question for the Lakers is whether that's enough. And even more specifically, how do they construct a team that allows him to be that hyper-elite, top 10+ player in the moments of the season that matter most? This is where questions of roster construction become particularly important. No question, depth means something different in the playoffs, and the Lakers, if they're going to go far, need players who can work in a variety of matchups (whether that's the same players adapting to different circumstances, or different players playing bigger or smaller roles depending on the opponent). But they also need real depth to win games in the regular season, and set themselves up for the easiest path possible, one that includes a rested (or as rested as can be) LeBron. Anthony Davis could use a little protection, too. So how does the larger context around James's statement shape the way the Lakers should approach this summer? We break it down. HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky SEGMENT 1: LeBron says he's better than 95% of the league. Is he right? SEGMENT 2: What does it say about the Lakers and how they're constructed that 95% might not be enough? How do the Lakers compensate? SEGMENT 3: Looking at the offseason. What's the best approach to maximize the likelihood that James is at full strength in the postseason? Support Us By Supporting Our Sponsors! eBay Motors For parts that fit, head to eBay Motors and look for the green check. Stay in the game with eBay Guaranteed Fit. eBay Motors dot com. Let’s ride. eBay Guaranteed Fit only available to US customers. Eligible items only. Exclusions apply. Gametime Download the Gametime app, create an account, and use code LOCKEDONNBA for $20 off your first purchase. Last minute tickets. Lowest Price. Guaranteed. Built Bar Built Bar is a protein bar that tastes like a candy bar. Go to and use promo code “LOCKEDON15,” and you’ll get 15% off your next order. PrizePicks First time users can receive a 100% instant deposit match up to $100 with promo code LOCKEDON. That’s – promo code; LOCKEDON FanDuel Make Every Moment More. Don’t miss the chance to get your No Sweat First Bet up to ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS in Bonus Bets when you go Birddogs Go to and when you enter promo code, LOCKEDONNBA, they’ll throw in a free custom birddogs Yeti-style tumbler with every order. FANDUEL DISCLAIMER: 21+ in select states. First online real money wager only. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable free bets that expires in 14 days. Restrictions apply. See terms at Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit (CO, IA, MD, MI, NJ, PA, IL, VA, WV), 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXTSTEP to 53342 (AZ), 1-888-789-7777 or visit (CT), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (WY, KS) or visit (KS), 1-877-770-STOP (LA), 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY), TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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