The Los Angeles Lakers had an extremely eventful offseason making major additions through the draft as well as free agency. Additionally there were also many talented young players already on the roster with plenty of room for growth.
As a result, the Lakers are looking like a team who will be much improved in the 2017-18 season. The combination of exciting youth and capable veterans has fans anxious about witnessing a much improved product on the floor.
The changes also caught the eye of the experts at ESPN who are in the midst of their Summer Forecast series. In choosing the top candidates for ‘Team Turnaround’ the Lakers placed sixth with Micah Adams being a fan of both the young talent as well as the veterans who were added:
Lonzo Ball won Summer League MVP, Brandon Ingram won the unofficial award for “sophomore way too good to be playing in summer league” even if it is just for a single game, and Julius Randle worked toward a ridiculous body transformation. The distractions have departed (Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell) while Brook Lopez is in position to showcase just how good he truly is.
Did you know that in addition to averaging over 20 points per game while leading all starting centers in made 3s, Lopez allowed a lower field goal percentage at the rim than noted defensive menace Hassan Whiteside? Throw in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting buckets on a one-year deal and Luke Walton’s crew could raise some eyebrows.
The stats on Lopez are extremely impressive as he is known far more for his offensive skills than being a defensive presence. If he and Caldwell-Pope are able to help the team make a big defensive improvement, it will really help the Lakers get out in transition like Walton prefers.
Ingram looks set to make a major leap and will arguably be the top offensive option for the Lakers this year while the impact Ball can have on a team was showcased during Summer League.
Whether or not the Lakers will improve enough to make a playoff run remains to be seen as the Western Conference is stacked. Nonetheless, the Lakers are poised to be a much better team next season and many are already taking notice.