Wait, wait, wait. Has not the Los Angeles Lakers’ first season with LeBron James been an unmitigated disaster?
You could call it , sure. But don’t forget we’re talking about James’ first time in Hollywood. He’s signed on for two more and, other than shouldering some uncharacteristic blows in the injury bug, he frequently looks like the league’s most dominant force.
That is where the Lakers’ foundation starts. It may be enough on its own to justify our top spot.
But there’s more to consider here.
Former No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram was in the middle of a breakout until deep venous thrombosis prematurely ended his third time. The diamond in the rough of last year, kyle Kuzma, has pushed his counting categories nearly all forward. Lonzo Ball continued flood stat sheets with per-36-minute marks of 11.8 points, 6.5 assists and 6.3 rebounds before an ankle injury shut him down.
Kuzma is 23 years old; Ingram and Ball are 21. Whether they’re building blocks or trade chips, they remain valuable assets.
They’ll need more win-now assistance if the Lakers will make a championship run with James. But given their fiscal flexibility, youthful talent and possible top-10 select this summer, they have the means to snag a star (or more) for its second straight offseason.

Read more: wingedwheelblog.com

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