The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a title, but have been incredibly aggressive this offseason re-shaping the team. So after adding Dennis Schröder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol and Wes Matthews, where do they stand compared to the competition?
To ask that question, and a lot of others, we bring in Nekias Duncan (@NekiasNBA), writer and podcaster at BasketballNews.com and one of the best young writers working. He breaks down the impact L.A.'s newest additions will have, and how they'll change the way the Lakers operate in a pandemic-squeezed 2020-21 season where LeBron James and Anthony Davis haven't had much rest.
And what about Davis? After a Finals MVP performance, is this the season he breaks through with an MVP award? And if not the award itself, the type of play that launches him permanently into that small sliver of ultra-elite NBA players, headlined by Giannis and LeBron (if he's not already there)?
And of course, no conversation about the Lakers would be complete without a discussion of Kyle Kuzma, and where he fits in going forward.
Finally, we wrap up looking at other teams around the league. Who might surprise in the West? How many true contenders are there, as camps open? How might COVID-19 add chaos to the season?