The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the in-form teams in the NBA at the moment and are so far ahead of where they were last season.
They have won seven of their last 10 games but despite their improvement, they're still not in contention for a playoff spot in the fiercely competitive Western Conference this year.
L.A. is currently six-and-a-half games behind the Utah Jazz for the eight seed with a record of 30-36.
They have secured their most wins in the regular season since the 2012-13 campaign.
This summer will be huge for the franchise as they'll seek to bring in two superstars with the two max contract slots they have available.
But head coach Luke Walton believes that even if they fail to land any marquee names, they can make it to the postseason with their current roster.
“I think if things worked out and we were able to stay healthy with this group, we’d definitely be one of those teams competing (for a playoff spot),” Walton said, per Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group. “There’s 10 of them right now, we’d be on that list.”
With the way they've been playing recently, it's easy to see why Walton thinks that.
Since an awful nine-game losing streak earlier in the year, they've gone 19-9 and over the course of a season, they would be on course for 50 wins at that pace.
If the Purple and Gold succeed in pulling off their dream scenario of landing LeBron James and Paul George in free agency, however, the focus would immediately shift from competing for the playoffs to challenging for a championship.
That would mean that their talented young trio of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma would have to develop even quicker and be ready for high-pressure basketball against the best teams in the league.
“There’s always challenges with (adding superstars) and it takes time,” Walton said, “but it normally works out once you kind of got that continuity going.”
The additions of LeBron and PG13 would add star power and experience to the exciting and energetic young players currently on display.
After the Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten 127-113 by the Lakers on Sunday, James praised Walton for the way he has the team playing and compared them to the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers coach certainly thinks their system is designed to integrate any player, including the King.
“I think people like the way we play,” Walton said. “We play fast, we play fun. Whether you’re young or you’re old, I think that’s how players like playing the game of basketball.”
Laker Nation is waiting for the offseason with big expectations but it shouldn't be all doom and gloom if they fail to land a star name as they still have a very talented team to keep building with.
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