Darvin Ham believes the Lakers have a championship-caliber roster

The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten rave reviews for the moves they made during free agency this year from fans and experts alike. For starters, they have kept together much of the core that unexpectedly got them to the Western Conference Finals just weeks ago, and they made some intriguing additions to that core.

Those moves may not make the Lakers the favorites to the win 2024 NBA championship, but they should put them near the top of most people’s power rankings, especially as the new season gets closer and closer.

Head coach Darvin Ham told The Sporting Tribune that he’s very confident his roster is a championship-caliber one (h/t Lakers Nation).

Via The Sporting Tribune:

“Hell yeah; without question. “That’s what we’re in it for,” Ham told The Sporting Tribune. “We’re about winning around here and winning big. It’s not just about, ‘Hey we made the playoffs.’ We’re trying to get to that pinnacle and conquer it.”

Ham had his growing pains in his first season at the helm of an NBA team, but he showed growth as time went on, and many feel he is an excellent bench leader for L.A.

Will depth lessen the workload for LeBron James and Anthony Davis?

One criticism Ham got at times this past season was the heavy minutes he played James, especially at midseason. When Davis was out with a stress injury and before the trades that resurrected the Lakers, James was on the court for nearly 40 minutes a game as the team was frantically trying to tread water.

It was likely a major factor in why he suffered injuries in both of his feet, one of which caused him to miss a month during the stretch run.

But the Lakers’ newfound depth, especially at the wing and forward spots, should allow them to lessen the workload of their two superstars.

“That will allow us to manage them way more effectively,” Ham said of James and Davis. “We’re not going to skip any steps. We’re going to take care of our business early to where there’s continuity. As we speed up that process, that will allow them not to have to carry such a big load early. We were forced to overly exert them early on in the season and in the middle of the season because we were fighting an uphill battle.”

Before February’s Russell Westbrook trade, James was averaging 36.4 minutes per game, which is simply too many for him. But in his final 11 regular season contests, he was down to 31.9 minutes a game, although that figure went back up to 38.7 a contest in the playoffs.

Keeping James and Davis healthy and fresh throughout this coming season could be the first key to the Lakers possibly winning their 18th world title.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire