3 Bold Predictions For The 2017–18 Lakers
Ever since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took the steering wheel in L.A. the future has looked brighter.
This season’s success will mostly depend on the development of the younger talent on the team which will directly affect how attractive the Lakers are in next summer’s free agency period.
Optimism is always high before the season begins so here are 3 bold predictions for the Lakers before the tipoff of the 2017–18 campaign:
- Lakers finish with 48 Wins
Realistically this number is closer to the mid-30’s, but let’s go out on a limb and say the range is between 38–48 wins during the regular season. 48 wins would sneak the Lakers into the 6th seed in the West losing in the first round, yet turning heads around the league. The goal really is an audition for future free agent signings so playing well this season may determine next season’s success. Everything needs to go right for this to happen including staying healthy, but if the following two points play out we will speak it into existence.
2. Julius Randle & Jordan Clarkson are traded by the Deadline
Randle is in a contract year and as a tweener at the power forward position his shooting touch and decision making abilities have never improved much since his rookie year. His strength and speed still intrigue fans and GM’s alike, yet his weaknesses are glaring. Clarkson has been put on watch ever since the summer exit meetings. Jordan is an athletic scorer, but his lack of defensive prowess and poor ball handling skills make him replaceable. Magic has never mentioned Jordan much in the Lakers’ future plans except saying he hopes he can be 6th man of the year. Feeling a bit displaced by Caldwell-Pope in the starting lineup, Clarkson identity is a poor man’s Lou Williams. Both have serviceable contracts, yet they will not be a part of the Lakers moving forward. Better to get something in return before the deadline passes.
3. Lonzo Ball & Kyle Kuzma make All-Rookie 1st Team
Ball has been heralded as the next savior for the Lakers, but the more consistent figure has been Kuzma. Clearly the steal of the draft, Kyle’s athleticism and ability to score will be realized now. He’s already competing for a starting role, but for the beginning of the season he’ll be instant offense off the bench. Lonzo will have his defensive struggles against top notch point guards around the league and inconsistent shooting nights, but his true value will be measured in wins and making his teammates better. Ball should average 8+ assists this season and play 30 minutes per game. The Lakers offense is predicated around his ability to facilitate it. Coach Walton will give him control and flourish he will. Neither will win Rookie of the Year, but both will be recognized as 2 of the top 5 rookies in their class.
Lakers fans have been called delusional and dreamers, but that’s just haters talking. This season will prove to a be a turning point, so get ready bandwagon fans jump in!