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Los Angeles Lakers 2016 Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook

Los Angeles Lakers 2016 Preview

August 2016

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It’s been a rough three years for the Los Angeles Lakers and the franchise hopes things will improve now that Kobe Bryant is gone. The Lakers ener this year with a new coach in Luke Walton and it’s clear a new era is taking place.

Can the Lakers take a step forward in the right direction?

Los Angeles Lakers 2016 Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Here is your 2016 NBA Los Angeles Lakers preview.

Key Player Losses: The biggest loss for the Lakers was the retirement of Kobe Bryant. He wasn't nearly as effective as he once was, but he was still first all time in Lakers history in games played, points, steals and three-point field goals. The Lakers lost the face of their franchise and now have to fill that void. The Lakers also lost a pair of big men in Brandon Bass and Roy Hibbert. Bass was solid off the bench last year as he provided seven points and four rebounds in 20 minutes, while Hibbert is still capable of being a defensive force.

Key Player Additions: The Lakers added a trio of veterans in point guard Jose Calderon, small forward Luol Deng and center Timofey Mozgov. If anything, those guys will teach a young roster how to be professional and carry themselves in this league. Out of all of those guys, Deng is the most promising, as he did shoot 45.5 percent from the field last season and is still a solid defender who also provides six rebounds per game. It will be interesting to see if Mozgov can revive his career with more playing time.

Draft: I’ve been the driver of the Brandon Ingram bandwagon from the beginning, and I’m not stopping. I think Ingram has star potential and will be a knockdown shooter in this league. The only concern is Ingram’s weight, as he’s still extremely thin despite putting on 20-plus pounds. Either way, Ingram is going to play a lot and is a strong candidate for ROY. Ivica Zubac could get playing time backing up Mozgov but is just 19 years old and will need time before becoming a consistent contributor.

Outlook: The Lakers have a lot of nice building blocks in Ingram, Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. This team isn’t as bad as it’s record the last few years and they’ll have chances to prove it with Kobe not around to jack up 30-plus shots. Of course we’re not taking playoffs or anything, but the Lakers can push for 30 wins and make a positive statement in Walton’s first season.

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