Cover Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


[In the 30 days leading up to the season opener, we'll preview all 30 NBA teams, from Tanking Teams to Lottery Leaders to Warriors Wannabes. Tanking Teams are fighting for the No. 1 pick. Lottery Leaders could make the playoffs, or they could land in the lottery. Warriors Wannabes are title contenders. Then there are the Warriors in a league by themselves. Team 8 in our preseason rankings is the Los Angeles Lakers. Check back every day for previews of every team in the NBA followed by our complete preseason rankings.]


Key Losses: Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Isaiah Thomas. Randle is really the only player of note here. Similar to this year, the Lakers of last season were a bunch of misfit toys joined together on one-year deals. Randle was the only guy the Lakers drafted and, if they had the ability, they would have liked to keep him in LA long term. Although with the LeBron James in town and a whole bunch of cap space coming their way next summer, Randle won't be missed too much.


Key Returns: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma. These are the three young guys that are actually part of the Lakers' future plans. Ball had a more impressive rookie year than most are willing to admit. Kuzma exceeded expectations big time last year, and Ingram seems to finally be morphing into what the Lakers thought they were getting when they drafted him second overall. Ingram has drawn early praise from LeBron as well, which is always a good sign. Look for Ingram to make the biggest leap toward potential stardom this year. 

Key Additions: LeBron James, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo. At the end of the day, LeBron is the only one that matters long term here. Beasley and Stephenson are most likely only on the team for this season, but they should provide some solid play off the bench. Rondo will be a viable starter while Ball is recovering from knee surgery and then should morph into more of a mentor's role as the season goes on. Rondo has the perfect playing style to teach Lonzo how to get to the next level. 

X-Factor(s): Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. While most of you may have predicted LeBron to be in this spot, we know what LeBron will deliver. We know he's going to be great. Ingram and Ball are the future of this franchise beyond LeBron. If neither of them can take a huge leap toward their full potential, the Lakers could have some real issues this year, and a few years from now in the post-LeBron era. Then again, they could go out next summer and sign another star or two, and it will all be a moot point.


Betting Odds: The Lakers over/under for wins on the season is 48.5 and they currently have +1300 odds to win the NBA championship.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.