The Los Angeles Lakers finished 14th in the Western Conference last season. There’s only 15 teams in the conference. I always remember Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on top of the Western Conference battling for the championship almost every season so to see them we they are now is a new thing to me. 21-61 was the final record for them. That’s a win percentage of .256%. That record was good enough for the 2nd pick of the NBA Draft which they used to select D’Angelo Russell.
They lost center Jordan Hill but traded for center Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers. They lost Ed Davis but get young, talented power forward Julius Randle back from injury for next season. They lost point guard Jeremy Lin but gained shooting guard and Sixth Man of the Year winner, Lou Williams.
With another young stud Jordan Clarkson, they must decide whether they start him and D’Angelo Russell together with Kobe at the 3 or bench one of them and play Kobe at the 2 with Young at the 3 or Kobe at the 3 with Lou at the 2. They still got some time to make up their decision for starting lineups as pre-season hasn’t even started.
Everyone’s concern was how Lou Williams and Nick Young will co-exist together and it’s a question I have as well. The Lakers should be more competitive than last season for sure, even if Kobe goes down again with injury in what may be his last season, but don’t expect them to come any closer to the playoffs. I have them ranked #29 coming into the season which I’m sure they will improve on as the season goes on by a couple spots.
It’s kind of hard to give a trending rating to a team for next season that was bad and will continue to be bad, but not as bad? Understand? The Lakers will still be towards the bottom but they will be slightly more competitive. Does that warrant enough that they should be trending upwards? Or does the fact that they’ll still be towards the bottom and picking in the lottery warrant enough that they should be trending downwards. I will give them a trending upwards status due to the fact that they will be more competitive than last season’s squad.