Summer Forecast, Team Turnaround for 2017-18 season

6. Los Angeles Lakers

First-place votes: 0
Total points: 16

2016-17 record: 26-56

Comments: Looking beyond this season, Tom Haberstroh has the Lakers pegged as the NBA’s next super team. But there’s more to the Lakers than simply gazing into the future.

Lonzo Ball won Summer League MVP, Brandon Ingram won the unofficial award for “sophomore way too good to be playing in summer league” even if it is just for a single game, and Julius Randle worked toward a ridiculous body transformation. The distractions have departed (Nick Young and D’Angelo Russell) while Brook Lopez is in position to showcase just how good he truly is.

Did you know that in addition to averaging over 20 points per game while leading all starting centers in made 3s, Lopez allowed a lower field goal percentage at the rim than noted defensive menace Hassan Whiteside? Throw in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting buckets on a one-year deal and Luke Walton’s crew could raise some eyebrows. — Adams