One has to wonder if the Southern California smog has gotten to Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. After what has been a questionable list of off-season moves and coming off a 21-win 2014-15 campaign, the executive somehow believes that his team is prepared to make a playoff run in the Western Conference:
Is this Lakers squad equipped to make the playoffs?
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: “It’s a little early, but I would say yes."
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) July 10, 2015
After losing out on LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe, among other top-flight free-agent targets, the Lakers made a plethora of moves to add some type of new blood to a previously talent-stricken roster.
It started with the selection of D’Angelo Russell second overall in last month’s draft. Russell could very well turn himself into the face of the franchise in no time. That pick was also made to compete with another stellar point guard in the form of league MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
Outside of that, there isn’t much to write home about here. Los Angeles added the likes of Lou Williams and Brandon Bass while trading for ultra-enigmatic former Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert.
As of now, the Lakers starting five would likely consist of Russell, Kobe Bryant, Hibbert, Julius Randle and Nick Young. That’s not even a playoff team back east, let alone in the Western Conference.
It’s good to have optimism. It’s a completely different thing to give your fan base unrealistic hope—a fan base that should be expecting a rather lofty rebuild in Southern California.
Photo: USA Today Sports