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Los Angeles Lakers 2022/2023 Season Preview

The Lakers injuries and poor roster construction cost them dearly last season as they failed to qualify for any kind of post-season basketball. They have attempted to re-tool during the off-season with hopes of returning to Playoff basketball in a big way.

The Lakers had to make significant changes to their supporting cast, and they have done what they can with limited resources. Lonnie Walker, Patrick Beverley, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant join the squad to help fill the void behind Davis and James following an exodus of role players. The Lakers have also taken fliers on many younger players, including Max Christie, Javante McCoy, Scotty Pippen Jr and Cole Swindler in an attempt to turn their fortunes around heading into the season.

One of the issues Los Angeles faced last season, outside of injuries to Anthony Davis which remain a very real threat, was a lack of cohesion and effort. I recall vividly nominating Austin Reaves, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk as the only Lakers who cared at stages last season – and Howard, Monk and Anthony are no longer on the roster. Bringing in a player like Patrick Beverley is a proven tactic for raising the accountability and effort of your team on both ends, and hungry young players as well as veterans looking to jump-start their careers once more like Schroder also shape as bang-for-buck moves.

Anthony Davis (pictured) must stay healthy if the Lakers are to have any chance at making serious noise this season. Credit: DraftKings Nation

The fortunes of the Lakers ultimately rest on James and Davis though. Injuries have caused the Lakers to fail to reach their potential since their bubble Championship, and if the pair can’t stay healthy, it will again be a wasted season for LA. If they can, however, and the team can rehab Westbrook’s play or trade him for something of any substance, the Lakers can look to vault themselves into a competitive place in the Western Conference once again.

As usual, it will be up to LeBron James and Anthony Davis to lead this team despite their age and injury history respectively. There is reason for measured optimism around the potential of the roster given potential bang-for-buck acquisitions, but an ever-toughening Western Conference will be hard to reach the pinnacle of.

Ceiling: 6th seed

Floor: 8th seed

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