The Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season in 2016-17, finishing 26-56 which was the third worst record in the NBA.
The Lakers had what is considered a very successful offseason though, which started at the draft when they took Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick and then Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant later on.
They also added former All-Star center Brook Lopez to the mix in a trade with Brooklyn Nets that sent Timofey Mozgov’s salary to Brooklyn along with D’Angelo Russell, who became expendable when president of basketball operations Magic Johnson decided that Ball was the point guard he wanted leading the team.
While the Lakers front office said at the beginning of the offseason that they wouldn’t be big players in free agency this summer, as they want to preserve cap space for the 2018 free agent class, they were able to convince former Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to sign a one-year deal. Caldwell-Pope will be paired with Ball to give the Lakers a brand new starting backcourt this season.
With all the moves the Lakers made, Sportsbook.ag has set their over/under for their win total this season at 34 games, which would be eight more wins than they had last season.
In addition to the aforementioned moves, the Lakers were also able to bring back point guard Tyler Ennis, who played well for them last season after being acquired from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline.
The Lakers made some improvements, but it seems like the entire Western Conference also improved heavily this offseason with stars like Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap all moving to Western Conference teams.
The Phoenix Suns at 29 and likely the Sacramento Kings, whose over/under has not yet been released, are the only two Western Conference teams projected to win fewer games than the Lakers this season, while the Golden State Warriors pace all NBA teams at 67.5.