Experts believe that the LA Lakers will have a similar season of mediocrity because of how their roster is built. ESPN's Brian Windhorst predicted the Lakers will finish as a play-in team.
The Lakers have done little to improve their roster, replacing the veterans they had the previous season with guys that have little-to-no postseason experience. Considering the Lakers are still gunning for the championship, their offseason moves don't reflect their goal.
Most are giving them credit for abandoning their strategy of having a bunch of old players. While that is an improvement, it can only take the Lakers so far.
Los Angeles went 33-49 last season, finishing 11th in the Western Conference.
ESPN released its predictions for the West, and it doesn't look good for the Lakers.
ESPN predicted that Los Angeles will finish ninth with a record of 42-40. Windhorst said that having them finish as a play-in team is generous, considering how their roster is composed.
"I think that is kind of generous," Windhorst said. "That's believing that the Lakers are gonna get a mostly healthy season from Anthony Davis and LeBron James. The supporting cast they have assembled is really kind of haphazard. ... They're really gonna need LeBron and AD to carry them to a bunch of wins in a Western Conference that is gonna be highly, highly competitive."
It looks like the Lakers will still rely heavily on LeBron James' production to turn them into a championship team.
The LA Lakers could have a similar, disappointing season
Precicting the LA Lakers to finish as a play-in team next season might be accurate. They haven't made any major moves to improve their roster this offseason.
Rumors about trading Russell Westbrook have died down, and it seems the move it won't happen anytime this summer.
Earlier this offseason, the Lakers were aggressive in trying to trade the former MVP to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for LeBron's former teammate, Kyrie Irving. However, both organizations were skeptical of including more trade assets. Westbrook is still with the Lakers, and the organization may have no choice but to have him on their roster for another season.
Additionally, Davis' inconsistency to be healthy has left James to do much of the work himself. James isn't getting any younger, and Father Time will eventually catch up to him, although nobody knows when that will happen. Meanwhile, many believe the Lakers will make significant improvements on defense after hiring another defensive-minded coach to lead them.
The Lakers likely are on a path to trying to make the impossible happen. They'll have to work together to prove the critics wrong and have a competitive season.