Lakers Ranked No. 24 In Projected 2019 Power Rankings

Lakers Ranked No. 24 In Projected 2019 Power Rankings
April 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) is hugged by team mates after scoring a basket against Utah Jazz during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have put together a promising young core but ESPN’s projected future power rankings has the Purple & Gold languishing at No. 24 by the start of the 2019 season.


According to the ESPN Insider article, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers remain No. 1 and No. 2 followed by Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami Heat (6th), Utah Jazz (7th), Portland Trail Blazers (8th), Minnesota Timberwolves (9th) and Los Angeles Clippers (10th) round up the top-10.

Chicago Bulls have been ranked 17th while the New York Knicks have been projected to be the 28th best team by 2019. In what may come as a shock, the Philadelphia 76ers have been ranked 19th despite winning just 10 games this past season. Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets have been ranked 29th and 30th respectively.

Lakers get a score of 43.13

The future potential of a team has been gauged on five factors: 1) Players, 2) Management, 3) Money, 4) Market and 5) Draft. Lakers have been ranked 29th when it comes to Players, 27th in Management, 1st in Money, 1st in Market and 10th in Draft. L.A. got an overall score of 43.13 when compared to Warriors’ 78.83, Cavs’ 63.79 and Celtics’ 63.04.

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Lakers have essentially tanked for two consecutive seasons. But in the process, they’ve acquired four talented youngsters in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Plus, they are about to add either Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons to that young core this summer.

Isn’t that young core, coupled with more than $60 million in cap room, enough to propel L.A. back to being a powerhouse team? Kevin Pelton offered an explanation for ranking them at a lowly 24. “After the worst three-season stretch in franchise history, there are finally reasons for the Lakers to believe they can turn things around sooner rather than later.”

Promising core not enough…

Pelton continued: “Lottery luck smiled on the Lakers, who kept their pick, which could yield either Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons. Whichever player the Lakers draft will join a young core headlined by last year’s No. 2 pick, D’Angelo Russell, who showed All-Star promise during a rocky rookie season.”

“The young core might make it easier for the Lakers to attract free agents than it was with Kobe Bryant’s salary swallowing up much of their cap space. L.A. will have $50-plus million to spend this summer, and can roll that over for a monster 2017 crop of free agents.”

“Still, even with Luke Walton signing on as head coach, we’re skeptical of Lakers management making the right choices if top-tier stars aren’t interested in L.A,” concluded Pelton.

Do you agree with ESPN’s assessment that Lakers will be the 24th best team in three years? Post your views below.