Charles Barkley tempers the Lakers' expectations for next season

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Adding LeBron James to their team automatically means that the expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers are high for next season.

Despite not making the playoffs for five straight years, fans in California are pinning their hopes on the King to change that and also compete for a championship.

But with the way the Lakers roster is currently constructed, simply securing a postseason berth should be seen as a success because it definitely won't be easy.

Realistic expectations

Their failure to land another superstar to play alongside LeBron means any hopes they had of challenging the Golden State Warriors are now unrealistic.

The additions they have made have been slightly more underwhelming.

Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee have all been signed to one-year deals and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has re-signed for another campaign.

According to reports, the Lakers have also agreed to sign veteran forward Michael Beasley for one season.

It's fair to say nobody saw these moves coming from the purple and gold after they acquired the best player in the league and it's tough to predict just how they'll mesh together.

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

One man who's clear about what the team's expectations should be is Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

The outspoken TNT analyst is never afraid to speak his mind and he believes Los Angeles shouldn't be aiming too high next year as they're still below the level of several teams in the Western Conference.

"They're a number five seed, maybe six in the West," Barkley said on The Dan Patrick Show. "I don't think they're better than Oklahoma City, I don't think they're better than the Denver Nuggets.

"The Rockets to me are the surprising team because I think they have regressed.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game One

"I'm a big Trevor Ariza fan ... Minnesota's better than the Lakers. As great as LeBron is -- I see them as the 4, 5, 6 seed."

Despite the Nuggets not making the playoffs last season and the T-Wolves finishing in the eighth spot, it seems Barkley thinks they'll both make a big jump next year and finish in the top five.

That's without taking the Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs or New Orleans Pelicans into account.

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Two

"The West is unbelievable," Barkley said. "He (LeBron) got 20 easy wins the last few years. He won't get those easy 20 wins in the Western Conference."

It's impossible to predict how the west will shape up but like the last campaign, it'll be a real battle to secure one of the eight playoff spots.

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