Apr 1, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; The NBA game ball on the court during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Trail Blazers won 124-112. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Ranks Lakers #1 for Team Turmoil

Every single team has its ups and downs.  Some teams play healthy all season.  Other teams lose 319 total games out of their players due to injury, just like the Lakers did last season.  If there is a silver lining, it is that the Lakers had a lottery pick at #7 to draft a highly sought-after prospect in Julius Randle.

The Lakers even went out of their way to buy a second round pick for $1.8 million, an astounding number.  It turns out that second round pick, Jordan Clarkson, was the best player of the Vegas Pro League.  He surprised other teams out there.

Team turmoil means a team headed for unhappy times for the upcoming season.

Which team is headed for some unhappy times this season?

Our Summer Forecast rolls on with predictions for Team Turmoil — the squad that will have some unsettling experiences in the 2014-15 season as voted on by our ESPN Forecast team.

Forecast: 2014-15 Team Turmoil Team Rankings Link

The mentality presented by the tweets is completely based on uncertainty.  The arguments assumed against the Lakers include Bryant being a shell of himself for this upcoming season, and Carlos Boozer turning into an inconsistent, unmotivated power forward.

How is this different from any other team?

For the Houston Rockets; will Dwight Howard eventually mature and become a true leader and inspiration to the team?  Will James Harden finally show some real effort on defense?

Will Roy Hibbert assert himself on the offensive end consistently for the Indiana Pacers?  Can the Pacers find some help with Paul George out for the season and Lance Stephenson elsewhere?

These pessimistic point of views are never carried by the Laker executives, including the Buss family, Mitch Kupchak, and even Mike D’Antoni.  No one anticipates heavy injuries.  No one predicts the inability to gel as a team.

The Lakers at least have an advantage over the Houston Rockets.  They have a couple of leaders in Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.  As inconsistent as the Laker team is, there are times when it’s obvious that they try on defense.

Oh, and unlike the Pacers, the Lakers actually have their best players healthy.

The #1 ranking for the Lakers for this subject is inappropriate.  The Lakers went from a predicted Finals appearance to the lottery in two seasons.  There have been coaching changes, rosters depleted by injuries, unhappy superstars, and everything else in the middle.  That’s true team turmoil.

The offseason included picking up Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, solid starting talent for the Lakers.  They hired Byron Scott.  They have two great draft picks.

It’s only upside remaining after one of the worst seasons in franchise history.


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