Charles Barkley Believes Lakers Are ‘Surprise Team’ Heading Into 2023-24 Season
Charles Barkley
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It is no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are in the mix of contending teams heading into the 2023-24 season with the free agency period that they had. But in an ultra competitive Western Conference, the Lakers are going to have their hands full making it out of the conference to fulfill their championship aspirations.

With so many teams making moves to improve this summer, it is hard to gauge exactly where the Lakers will be in the standings once the season plays out. However, the consensus is the Western Conference Finalist got better while keeping their core pieces from last year’s team.

TNT analyst and NBA legend Charles Barkley seems to be joining that assertion of the Lakers having a chance to surprise some people this upcoming season even if he has the defending champion Denver Nuggets at the forefront for the time being, via NBC Sports Bay Area:

“Asked for his favorites to reach the NBA Finals, Barkley initially said it’s “too early for predictions,” but then gazed into his field of contenders, beginning with the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

“I was happy for Denver,” Barkley told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Getting a chance to see what the Joker (Nikola Jokic) could accomplish is phenomenal. It was great for the NBA.

“The Lakers have gotten better. There’s going to be some surprise teams. The Celtics are interesting, going out to get (Kristaps) Porzingis.”

The first concern for the Lakers and essentially every contending team is health. Specifically for the Lakers, will the pieces around LeBron James and Anthony Davis be able to provide enough firepower to ease other both stars’ workload? Time will tell, but this team has youthful talent and some experienced veteran role players, pieces for a championship roster.

The last repeating champion was the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18, but the Nuggets should still be the favorites until proven otherwise. The aforementioned rival Boston Celtics are one of many teams looking to cash in on their championship window with the acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis as well, racing the Lakers to championship No. 18.

For the first time in a while, there is a ton of parody in the NBA, specifically in the Western Conference, so an argument can be made several teams to make it to the NBA Finals. While the Lakers look good on paper, they will have to pace themselves accordingly to get into the playoffs healthy.

Magic Johnson believes Lakers have real shot to win championship in 2023-24

While Barkley had the Lakers as a ‘surprise’ team and not a favorite, Lakers legend Magic Johnson varies in opinion and believes the team has a good chance to get over the hump and win the illustrious 18th championship.

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