Luke Walton’s offense now features a proven center that can both space the floor and pound the ball down low.
In their first transaction of the offseason, the Lakers traded for Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, sending back D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov in return.
With Lopez, the Lakers — who also received 27th-overall draft pick Kyle Kuzma — add a 7-footer who averaged 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks last season.
The North Hollywood native — who has averaged around 20 points for the last seven years — boasts a strong offensive arsenal that had him put up the second-most points among the league’s centers last year.
He can operate down low — where he averaged the NBA’s third-most post-up points (5.2) — and from deep — where he led all centers in made 3-pointers (1.8).
While Lopez already had a well-rounded scoring game, including the ability to draw fouls and hit hook shots, he elevated himself last year by stepping out beyond the arc.
Adapting to the modern NBA, Lopez went from shooting 9.7 percent (3-of-31) on 3-pointers in his first seven seasons to knocking down 34.6 percent (134-of-387) last year.
Adding this stretchiness to his repertoire resulted in seven games with 30 points or more. For comparison’s sake, the Lakers had only 10 such outings as a team.
On the other end of the floor, Lopez might not be the nimblest in pick-and-roll situations, but he does do a solid job of defending the rim.
In addition to ranking seventh in the NBA in blocks last season (1.65), he also allowed opponents to hit just 47.0 percent of their shots at the rim — the fifth-best mark by any player that faced at least 400 attempts.
And the 2013 All-Star was certainly challenged often, as contested the league’s third-most shots per game (14.6).
So now Lopez — the Nets’ franchise leader in scoring (10,444) and blocks (972) — will seek to improve his hometown Lakers on both sides of the floor.