This upcoming season will be the biggest in a long time for the Los Angeles Lakers. With the signing of LeBron James, the franchise is back at the forefront of the league, as evidenced by their presence on marquee dates during the regular season.
James has been the best player in the NBA for some time now and his addition is expected, by most at least, to return the Lakers to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. That could also allow him to add some individual hardware to his collection.
ESPN recently began their annual Summer Forecast series and James was predicted to win his fifth NBA MVP award:
James is coming off a monster season in which he led the NBA in games and minutes played, producing some of his best box score stats in years. If he replicates that effort while leading the young Lakers to success, he has a great chance to earn the fifth MVP award of his career.
James is used to having all of the attention, but the light is even brighter in Los Angeles. As was pointed out, replicating last year’s success (27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists) while leading the Lakers to a top-four seed in the Western Conference it could be hard to deny him.
He will have some serious competition for the award, however. New Orleans’ Anthony Davis finished second in ESPN’s voting, followed by the Warriors’ Kevin Durant and reigning MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks rounds out the top five of ESPN’s forecast.
If James were to capture the award he would become the fifth Laker to win the award, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant.
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