The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to give the coming season another go with their young core a year older. But there is one player most have overlooked – Brook Lopez.

Acquired in the trade for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov, Lopez gives the Lakers a tested big man who can score at will. He is almost sure of delivering a 20-point per game performance, meaning LA will have inside presence. Paired with the other young players in the mix, the purple and gold may yet have the best frontcourt the past three years.

Does he fit the Luke Walton system?

Looking back to last season, head coach Luke Walton hardly had a big guy to turn to. It seemed mostly run-and-gun for the Lakers during the 2016-17 NBA season with the focus on Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams and Nick Young.

With a legit big man, Walton may be mapping out more efficient half-court sets with someone who knows how to operate inside the paint. His presence also makes life easier for Randle and Larry Nance Jr., both who needed to work hard for their shots.

Rim protector and rebounder

Outside of his offensive prowess, Lopez also gives the Lakers added defensive presence, as the 29-year-old averages about 2 blocks a game. Mozgov was unable to do that last year and everyone knows that fastbreaks can only commence with good defense.

Lopez also has a career rebounding average of 7 boards per game. Being a 7-footer, this is one department he may have to work with. His best rebounding average was 8.6 RPG during the 2009-10 season with the Nets.

While more work needs to be done, the fact remains that Lopez brings a bit of something on both ends. He may not be an eye-popper, but looms as a bigger improvement compared to the big men the Lakers have had the past three seasons.

Added motivation

Lopez has time to improve certain departments of his game. At his age, he does have time to do so. Right now, it is all about proving to the Lakers, and other teams, that he deserves every penny of that $22 million contract.

Though there is no certainty if he will return after this season, the Lakers could dangle him with another lucrative deal if he impresses.

If that happens, he will be in a good position to follow other great Lakers centers who have gone down in the purple and gold history books. Some of those players include Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal. With time to evolve, Brook Lopez could just make that list if he stays in Los Angeles.