ESPN released their annual predictions on Tuesday for the upcoming NBA season, which ranked the teams that will go through the most turmoil and the Los Angeles Lakers topped the list.
Each summer a series of forecasts for the next regular season are put forth by a panel of 210 writers who have contributed to ESPN and vote on an array of topics. The Lakers happened to accumulate the most votes out of any team when the discussion came to who would go through the most difficult 2014-15 season.
This comes as not much of a surprises due to the significant amount of questions that surround the team’s roster. For starters, there is uncertainty about whether their best two players in Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash can first remain relatively healthy for the whole season. and second, what type of players they will be at this point in their illustrious careers.
Bryant is coming off two serious leg injuries that limited him to play in just six games last season. Nash was not much better as he only played in 15 games due to the lingering nerve irritation issues in his back and left leg that persisted all year long.
There is also the doubts about how well the other players on the roster can play together as a team. Los Angeles is coming off an offseason where they had a large amount of cap space to try and lure players like Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, but were unable to land either player. They were also unable to retain big man Pau Gasol as he chose to play for the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers were then forced to go to plan B and C, which entailed re-signing Jordan Hill, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, and Ryan Kelly. They also signed free agent Ed Davis, traded for Jeremy Lin, and won a blind bid auction to obtain Carlos Boozer, who was amnestied by the Bulls.
With all these moves and failed acquisitions in mind, the rankings were put in place and had them take the top spot. These predictions may be a bit depressing for Lakers fans, but one thing must be remembered they are just opinions before any basketball has been played.
This is not suggesting the Lakers can be world beaters by any means, but the fact that they were selected as the team to go through the most turmoil could be a motivating factor for the team under new head coach Byron Scott.
The Lakers may not have had the summer they hoped, but one thing for sure is they are about to enter an interesting 2014-15 season to say the least.
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