…39 million after that, and that’s without even dumping the $18 million Luol Deng is owed each year. Now they have a bunch of young talent, the most cap room in the league, and Lakers exceptionalism to offer LeBron, PG, and other upcoming free agents. What Los Angeles did here was downright Magic. They have one of the best future situations in the entire league now. They were the biggest deadline winner.
As one of Medium’s head honchos of homerism here in the City of Angels, I had to highlight what might be the first positive thing you’ve written about the Lakers this season.
If they can sweep their three road games before the All-Star break, they would equal their wins from all of last season.
After listening to talk radio gush over the trade and watching the Purple and Gold absolutely hammer the Thunder, here are my predictions for the rest of the season, based on the three upcoming games:
- 0 Wins — IT destroys the team chemistry, and they win 30 games for the season.
- 1 Win — They are good enough to keep beating lousy teams, and win 35 games for the season. (12 wins out of 28 remaining games)
- 2 Wins — They shoot over 70% on free throws, limit turnovers to 15 or less, and win 38–40 games this season. (15–17 wins out of 28 remaining games)
- 3 Wins — IT is on fire coming off the bench, and wins four games by himself in the fourth quarter, boosting their record to 42–40. (With 8 games left against the five teams above them in the standings, they even have an outside shot at the 8 seed if everything falls their way)
- Since the 9-game losing streak, the Lakers are 12–4, with wins over San Antonio, Boston, and OKC twice.
- For the rest of the year, they have 5 games against elite teams (Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Cavs), 13 games against teams fighting to make the playoffs, and 10 games against the bottom 5 teams.
- In games where the Lakers have 15 turnovers or less, they are 14–7, and have achieved this benchmark in 10 of the last 13 games, going 8–2
- The team has made huge gains its 3-point shooting recently, with their top four guys all above 35%.