The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in the midst of their worst stretch in franchise history, missing the NBA playoffs in each of the last six seasons.
There is plenty of optimism that drought will end during the 2019-20 NBA season after the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis this offseason to pair with LeBron James, forming perhaps the best duo in the NBA.
The Lakers had hopes of pairing a third All-Star player with them as they chased Kawhi Leonard in free agency, but he wound up signing with the Los Angeles Clippers — forcing the Lakers to spread out their remaining cap space on role players to surround James and Davis.
With Davis and some solid players like Danny Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Avery Bradley and others now in the organization, one anonymous NBA executive believes the Lakers are playoff bound, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
“They started backups a lot last season, and they had some guys on their bench that shouldn’t have been in the league,” said one scout. “If they stay healthy, they have a playoff lineup now.”
Another executive echoed those comments, believing that the addition of a player of Davis’ caliber alone will make the Lakers better:
“They added Anthony Davis; if they did nothing else, they were going to be way better,” said another league executive.
When the Lakers missed the playoffs this time around, it marked the first time in 13 years that a James-led team had failed to qualify. As he alone typically leads to a team making the playoffs, the Lakers are largely considered one of the favorites by many to compete for the 2020 NBA Finals.
If James and Davis do bring the first championship to the city of Los Angeles since 2010, then it will be no easy task as there are at least 8-10 teams that can reasonably compete for one this upcoming season.
The Lakers — along with the Clippers — may be the favorites, but the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics could all be in the mix as well.