We're two days before NBA training camp starts for the Los Angeles Lakers, and already the punditry starts. Monday morning power rankings are a tradition for every team sport, and it seems only right that we start the Lakers 2021-2022 season with them.
Before a single a minute has been played for this season, the Lakers are ranked at number three for ESPN's power rankings. For their part, the Lakers offseason was busy. They acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and dealt away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell. LA also signed old friend Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk and Trevor Ariza. Howard will likely see minutes off the bench at the five spot, whereas Ellington, Nunn, and Monk were all signed for their outside shooting skills. Ariza is also another old friend for the Lakers, and he is still a capable defender at multiple positions. Kent Bazemore also signed with LA, and to round out the big names, Carmelo Anthony and DeAndre Jordan were also signed. These new look Lakers are of course lead by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
At the number two spot are the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, and at number one are the super team juggernaut Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks one could argue deserve the number one spot after winning a title, but the Brooklyn Nets carrying Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul Millsap took those honors.
Top heavy rosters are what the NBA has become in the last decade, and this year is no exception. This makes the Milwaukee Bucks winning an NBA championship last year with essentially one superstar all the more impressive.
The Lakers hope their team of veteran superstars will take them back to the NBA finals.