The Los Angeles Lakers had an extremely eventful offseason as Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka made a number of moves to improve the team heading into the 2017-18 season.
Between the draft, free agency, and trades, the team made some major additions with the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope set to make the Lakers make a jump from last season’s 26-win output.
Others also agree that the Lakers made huge improvements as David Aldridge of NBA.com ranked the Lakers as having the ninth best offseason:
“The only thing that mattered to new team president Magic Johnson and new GM Rob Pelinka was getting out from under Mozgov’s $64 million contract. Everything else this summer was gravy. Without the Mozgov albatross going forward, the Lakers will have room to go after two max level free agents in the summer of 2018, with many around the league believing they already have the inside track to Paul George and LeBron James.”
While the moves the Lakers made obviously had the future in mind, Aldridge also believes Ball and the rest of the young squad will be much better:
“Until then, L.A. can delight in the nightly highlights that Ball will provide on the floor. He’s got once-in-a-decade passing ability, and he’s not afraid of the moment or the man in front of him. He shot the ball well in college; teams will make him do it again and again his rookie season. Eventually he’ll make enough to make defenses play him honest — and when that happens, he makes the jump to point guard light speed. KCP will be auditioning for a major deal in ’18, so L.A. should get his best work. Kuzma looked like a major steal during Summer League in Vegas. Still a year away, but the Lakers are going to be must-see TV again real soon.”
Aldridge also noted that the development of Brandon Ingram will play a big role in the team’s success this year as well as enticing potential free agents in 2018.
It will be difficult for the Lakers to challenge for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference, but it is undeniable that the team made some big improvements this summer. Whether the Lakers’ ultimate plan to return to contention comes to fruition won’t be known for a while however.