Some could argue that they are. They’ve already completed the daunting task of taking on the (arguably) best team in the league in Golden State. They’ve started the season (note we are only 10ish games in) with an above .500 mark. Most importantly though, it seems like something has finally clicked for them. Russell, Clarkson, Randle, Nance JR, all of these guys make up an unexpectedly strong core group. This young team is already showed a lot of potential for upcoming seasons but now it seems as though they are ahead of schedule.
The Lakers are an interesting group to keep an eye on for this season. Under new coach Luke Walton they have a more free flowing offence. Guys like Russell have a looser green light to shoot the 3 ball when they see the opportunity fit, something that Walton probably learned during his time as the head coach of Golden State when Steve Kerr was out for his back surgery. In the past I’ve held the Lakers in the same light as the Timberwolves over in Minnesota. Young team that likely won’t make the playoffs in the next 3 years, but closer to 5 years from now provided everything remains constant, could be serious playoff contenders and make serious noise.
The Lakers are now beginning their Kobe-free era. Season 1 is already looking so promising. As they’re such a young group, they’re only going to get better with time so keep these guys on the look out.