The Los Angeles Lakers are having an offseason for the ages.
Less than one year after hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy, only three players remain from the championship roster. Technically it's five, as Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo return to the Lakers after spending a year elsewhere.
That being said, LA has undergone plenty of change as the franchise has added nine veterans via trade and free agency to build its roster, over half of whom played for the Lakers earlier in their respective careers.
While the feeling of playing under the Staples Center lights won't be unfamiliar for some, you can't just throw a group of players unfamiliar with one another and expect it to work, right? That's why pre-existing history among some of the Lakers' offseason additions is both eye-opening and encouraging for their prospect to emerge as title contenders once again.
To show how deep these ties run, take a chronological look at the history between the current Lakers, excluding the four members of the title team.
MORE: How offseason additions complement LeBron and Davis
Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic (2005-07)
A 20-year-old Ariza and Howard were teammates with the Magic for 78 games. As fate would have it, the first game in which they both saw action as teammates was at the Staples Center against the Lakers in 2006.
Wayne Ellington and Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (2012-13)
Ellington's tenure in Memphis lasted all of 40 games, one of which was a blowout win over LeBron James and the Miami Heat in which Ellington knocked down seven 3s to score a game-high 25 points.
Trevor Ariza and Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (2014-16)
Reunited. Ariza and Howard's second stint as teammates came in Houston, a tenure highlighted by a trip to the 2015 Western Conference Finals.
Kent Bazemore and Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks (2016-17)
Howard's decision to play for his hometown Hawks joined him with Bazemore, and the two were regular-season starters for a team that won 43 games.
Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-18)
Anthony and Westbrook joined forces for one season in OKC, leading the team to 48 wins alongside Paul George. In addition to being Thunder teammates, Anthony and Westbrook are a part of an exclusive list of Jordan Brand signature athletes.
Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Pelicans (2017-18)
Rondo and Davis, who are also both Kentucky products, first graced the floor as teammates with the Pelicans. The duo helped lead New Orleans to a 48-34 record and a first-round series sweep of the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. Davis has won five playoffs series in his career, and Rondo was his teammate for each of them.
Dwight Howard and Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (2017-18)
Blink and you might have missed Howard's time in Charlotte, which lasted for 81 games and one season. It just happened to be the rookie campaign for Monk, who was selected 11th overall by the Hornets in 2017.
Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore, Portland Trail Blazers (2019-20)
Anthony's NBA return came with the Blazers, where he was briefly teammates with Bazemore until a midseason deal with the Kings brought in the next player on the list…
Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers (2020)
Prior to the NBA's hiatus, Anthony and Ariza were teammates with the Blazers for 21 games. Ariza opted out of the NBA Restart and was traded in the offseason.
Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat (2021)
Subsequent deals resulted in Ariza joining the Heat, where he was teammates with Nunn for 30 regular-season games and four games in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Outside of the NBA
• In 2008, Anthony, Howard and James teamed up to win Olympic Gold in Beijing
• In 2012, Anthony, Davis, James and Westbrook were members of the Team USA squad that won Olympic Gold in London
• Ariza and Westbrook are both natives of Los Angeles and played college basketball at UCLA - Ariza from 2003-04, Westbrook from 2006-08.
• Davis, Horton-Tucker and Nunn are all natives of Chicago. While they're five years apart in age, Horton-Tucker and Nunn are alumni of Simeon Career Academy High School.
• While five years apart, both Davis and Monk played under John Calipari at the University of Kentucky.
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