The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster for the 2023-24 season looks capable of bringing home a championship to LA. The shortcomings of last season are being rightfully addressed this year. The roster’s cores are the strongest with extended depth. Having said that, a lot can happen during the upcoming season. Relationships and dynamics are constantly evolving. Thus, here are three such predictions that could seemingly come true somewhere next year.
1. D’Angelo Russell Could Part Ways With Lakers
Point guard D’Angelo Russell had a homecoming last season when he was brought back to the Lakers during the trade deadline. He immediately left a deep impact on his performance and emerged as the regular starter. However, DLo’s numbers witnessed a dramatic dip during the postseason, which led LA to bench him during the conference finals against the Denver Nuggets. Since then, the guard and the franchise have not been on good terms. While LA retained him in a two-year extension deal, Russell does not seem interested in seeing the end of the tenure. Thus, the chances of D’Angelo Russell’s mid-season trade next season are significantly high. In fact, DLo also has an opt-out clause, which he could exercise if the standoff between him and Laker’s front office escalates.
2. Austin Reaves Makes An All-Star
Austin Reaves’ dramatic career trajectory in the NBA is nothing short of an inspiration. Two seasons ago, the point guard was seeking a two-way contract and is now sitting on a $56 million four-year extension contract with the Lakers. Reaves’ career took a major flip in just two months. Naturally, the hype around the young guys is also skyrocketing. Reaves is expected to start throughout the season, barring any injury setbacks. Even if he managed to average 20 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per match, it would be enough to make the guard an All-Star. The 24-year-old has everything that it takes to be a champion, and with LA, the chances doubles down. Regardless, Reaves’ performance in 2024 would be one to watch out for.
3. Lakers Winning The Ultimate Title
This might be an unpopular opinion, but the Los Angeles Lakers’ on-paper roster looks highly capable of winning a championship next season. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis stay healthy, half the battle is already won. Moreover, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura are likely to be heavy offensive contributors. They also have strong depth in Gabe Vincent, Jaxon Haynes, and Christian Wood. If all the pieces come together, the Lakers stand a strong chance to lift the ultimate title next year, and it would be a fitting farewell to legend LeBron James, who is unlikely to don the purple and gold in 2025.
At the end of the day, staying healthy would be the key for the Lakers to secure the championship dream. A lot can still unfold as the 2023-24 season kicks off. The dynamics in the NBA are always evolving. Everything will be largely dependent on how the team performs during the early stretch. Having said that, the possibilities of these three predictions coming to life are sky-high.