Credit: Fox Sports

Los Angeles Lakers has been a franchise built around 17 championship rings. They last won a ring in 2020, but since then, a few roster goof-ups led to their downfall. Last season, the club came close but was ousted by deserving winners, the Denver Nuggets. Having said that, Rob Pelinka has done a fabulous job during the off-season by retaining the core roster of the 2022-23 season. Hence, the responsibility to earn Hollywood another championship will fall on this young roster. Meanwhile, here are three such players who will be under pressure to play a key role in the Lakers’ success next year.

1. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis
Credit: Getty Images

Centre forward Anthony Davis will certainly succeed LeBron James as the future leader of the Los Angeles Lakers. As a result, the roster is being built around him. Also, the team locked him in for three additional years in the league’s most expensive extension contract. Hence, Davis needs to be on the court on a regular basis. For the past three seasons, he has been unable to feature in more than 60 games a season. Hence, AD must remain available for as long as possible to contribute to his full potential. The center should prioritize his health and avert any risk of injury. Having said that, more than anyone, Anthony Davis will be under intense pressure to deliver and do justice to his high payroll.


2. Austin Reaves

Austin Reaves
Credit: AP

Point guard Austin Reaves was the Lakers’ find of the 2022-23 NBA season. His post-trade production earned him a mega four-year $53 million extension contract. He is currently busy sharpening his skills with Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. Reaves is young, versatile, and aggressive enough to compete for a championship. Moreover, with the kind of performance he delivered last season, expectations around Reaves will just elevate as the new season inches closer. The point guard will have the responsibility to assist the likes of Anthony Davis and LeBron James and also take charge during their absence. Despite being just two seasons old, Austin Reaves is no longer a rookie or a newcomer. He will enter the 2023-23 season as an established player. The pressure of playing for LA will be an add-on to Reaves’ to-do list.

3. D’Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

D’Angelo Russell lowered his free agency stakes by tanking in the playoffs last season. He averaged 6.3 points in his final four outings for the LA Lakers. Yet, Russell was rewarded with a two-year $36 million compensation. Having said that, the former All-Star is likely to compete with the club’s newest addition, Gabe Vincent, for the starter role. Before dreaming of a championship, Russell will have to endure the pressure of securing a place in the starting lineup. Not only that, LA has an escape clause in DLo’s latest contract, which allows them to trade the PG if and when they deem it necessary. Hence, in the 2023-24 NBA season, D’Angelo Russell will fight for a lot. He will undoubtedly be amongst the group who are likely to remain under extreme pressure to perform in the upcoming season.