The Los Angeles Lakers have not made the postseason since 2013 when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs during the first round.
But after working towards a rebuild during the offseason, including trading D’Angelo Russell, the team will have a new look. One of their key additions was Brook Lopez. During media availability, he spoke about predictions for the new season.
According to Lopez, the team believes they can qualify for the postseason. They also added star rookie point guard Lonzo Ball as well as a very valuable two-way player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Lopez is not alone in this confidence. Ball recently said the Lakers “have a good chance to make the playoffs.” NBA veteran Luol Deng said the playoffs are always his goal. Larry Nance Jr. said everybody on the team wants to make the postseason.
Magic Johnson, now in the front office for Los Angeles, says that he is not judging the team based on whether they make the postseason (via ESPN):
“I’m excited. It’s going to be tough for us because the West is better, but I’m not gauging our team based on if we make the playoffs or not. As long as we get better, week-to-week, month-to-month, and keep growing.”
Las Vegas has set the over-under for the Lakers at 33.5 wins for next year, which would be the No. 11 team in the Western Conference.
Bleacher Report predicts the Lakers will not make the playoffs until the 2018-19 season. However, Lopez and Caldwell-Pope both have one-year deals so it’s unclear (or more specifically, unlikely) they would still be on the roster.
Hannah Kulik recently wrote about whether the young squad can surprise folks (via Lakers Nation):
“The Lakers are one big ball of potential but there is no way to know who among the young players will meet his potential and when it will happen. The Lakers do indeed have an outside chance to make the playoffs this year but it is going to require luck and a lot of people taking a giant leap forward ahead of schedule.”
While it will be a hard path, stranger things have happened in sports.
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