The popular trend over the last few weeks has revolved around claiming the Los Angeles Lakers will struggle and despite signing LeBron James, will only be marginally better this season. In fact, some are even skeptical as to whether or not they will make the playoffs.
The Lakers have a very different roster from last season. They kept their young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart intact while added veterans such as Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley to go along with James.
In part due to the unpredictability of the roster and playing in a stacked Western Conference, the Lakers don’t have any shortage of skeptics. One prediction has them hovering around .500 and missing the playoffs entirely.
However, none of that matters to Beasley. He didn’t dispute some of the criticism the Lakers are receiving, but he also wouldn’t necessarily agree with it, via Bleacher Report’s Leo Sepkowitz:
“As of now, we’re out, according to all the polls. Rightfully so. But I think we’re a team that will be able to decide our own fate by how hard we work and how much we’re willing to sacrifice physically and mentally. I’m not going to put my foot in my mouth and say we’re going to win 25 championships or 75 games, no. But I’m confident that we got a group of guys that wants to play basketball the right way, wants to win and work hard. With that being said, I think we can be exactly where we want to be at the end of the year.”
Beasley does the smart thing here by not committing this brand-new Lakers roster to anything too grand, and his point is sound. If the team is willing to work, the wins should follow suit. This Lakers roster is extremely talented and still remains rather young.
The team’s oldest player is perhaps the NBA’s best player in James at age 33. If the young core can develop how it should and the veterans can mesh well with James, there’s no reason they shouldn’t approach 50 wins.
Beasley himself is coming off of one his best seasons ever. At age 29, he averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for the New York Knicks.