The 2023-24 Los Angeles Lakers’ Season Preview

September 30th, 2023

by Alan Lu

After getting off to a slow start last year, the Lakers ascended and managed to get to the Western Conference Finals in their first season under head coach Darvin Ham before losing to the Denver Nuggets there. It was a successful season for LeBron James and company, and they managed to exceed expectations.

This season, they made some changes and made some moves to retool their roster. They’re hoping that they made enough moves that will allow them to win an NBA title, but age and injury concerns could potentially derail those plans, especially if they don’t stay healthy in the playoffs.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have energized the Lakers’ faithful, and they are hoping to lead them to win an NBA title in 2024.
(Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports, via Lakers Nation)

Star Players:

F LeBron James and C Anthony Davis

LeBron James is one of the greatest players to have ever played in the game, and he is a superstar forward that is the catalyst of their team’s offense. He is a dynamic shot creator, and he can do it all on the floor. On the other hand, he used to be extremely durable but has been more injury prone as he’s gotten older, so he will need to find ways to avoid injuries.

Davis is a very athletic, energetic big man that played very well last season. When healthy, he was one of the best players in the NBA, and he is a terrific interior player. Like James, he’ll need to stay healthy, but he was a formidable force for the Lakers last season.

Austin Reaves might not quite be a star, but he’s definitely looked like one at times. He had a very good second season in the NBA, and he turned in a breakout season for the Lakers. He is an athletic, skilled guard that is a crafty scorer and shot maker, and he has helped engineer the Lakers team to be one of the best teams in the league right now.

Additions:

G Gabe Vincent, C Christian Wood, C Jaxson Hayes, F Taurean Prince, F Cam Reddish, G-F Jalen Hood-Schifino, G-F Maxwell Lewis, C Colin Castleton, and G D’Moi Hodge

The Lakers added a slew of veteran role players and talented young players to help their team, but the most notable addition may be former Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent, whose shot making skills and defensive play will make him a key player for their team. Christian Wood is an athletic, skilled big man that can stretch the floor and offer rim protection skills. Also, Jaxson Hayes is a very athletic, high-motor big man that will play well in his role, and Prince is a strong, mobile forward that will play a 3 and D role for the Lakers.

Hood-Schifino is a tall, skilled playmaking wing that can shoot and pass, and he also can capably run the point, and Maxwell Lewis is an athletic swingman that could project into a 3 and D role at the NBA level. Also, Castleton is a skilled big man that operates well out of the post, and Hodge could also play a similar, 3 and D role in this league.

Subtractions:

G Dennis Schröder, G Lonnie Walker IV, G Malik Beasley, G-F Troy Brown Jr., C Mo Bamba, G Shaquille Harrison, F Wenyen Gabriel, and C Tristan Thompson

The Lakers lost a slew of role players, and they lost several key members of their rotation last year. They were able to replace them in the offseason, but Schroder, Walker, Beasley, and Brown all had their moments last season.

Rookies:

G-F Jalen Hood-Schifino, G-F Maxwell Lewis, C Colin Castleton, and G D’Moi Hodge

None of the rookies will likely figure to get much playing time immediately, but Schifino and Lewis are talented players that could be key rotation players in the future. At the summer league though, Castleton and Hodge seemed to have played better, so they might be more polished for the season ahead of them.

Expected Rotation:

Austin Reaves played an integral role on the 2023 Los Angeles Lakers’ team last year, and he played for Team USA in the 2023 Basketball World Cup this summer.
(Photo: Pete Thomas/USA Today Sports via Reuters Con, via The Wall Street Journal)

The Lakers have two stars and a possible emerging one in Austin Reaves. They fit together and allow them to reach the Conference Finals last year.

Projected Starting Lineup:

C Anthony Davis

Projected 2023-24 Rating:

F Jarred Vanderbilt

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F LeBron James

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G Austin Reaves

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G D’Angelo Russell

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Key Bench Players:

Rui Hachimura is a versatile, skilled combo forward whose talents and shot making abilities will help the Lakers this season.
(Photo: Via Kyodo/The Associated Press, via The Japan Times)

They have an interesting group of productive role players that can make subtle contributions for their team.

F Rui Hachimura

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G Gabe Vincent

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C Jaxson Hayes

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C Christian Wood

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F Taurean Prince

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The Rest of the Roster:

F Cam Reddish

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G-F Max Christie

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C Colin Castleton (Two-Way)

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G D’Moi Hodge (Two-Way)

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G-F Jalen Hood-Schifino

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G-F Maxwell Lewis

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F Alex Fudge (Two-Way)

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Others in Camp:

G Scotty Pippen Jr. (Exhibit 10)

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F Vincent Valerio-Bodon (Exhibit 10)

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G Damion Baugh (Exhibit 10)

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Head Coach:

Darvin Ham helped the Lakers win some surprising playoff series, which included series wins over Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies and Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors, and he will look to help guide the Lakers to a title in 2024.
(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports, via ESPN)

Darvin Ham
2022-23 (LAL): 43-39, 8-8 in the playoffs
Coaching Career: 43-39, 8-8 in the NBA Playoffs

Darvin Ham was able to reel off some surprising playoff series win, including a second round series win over the Golden State Warriors. His Lakers’ team exceeded expectations last year, but fell a bit short as they lost to the Nuggets in the Conference Finals. Still, he proved that he was one of the best coaches in the NBA currently, and the future is bright for Ham and the Lakers.

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Outlook:

LeBron James (on the right) and head coach Darvin Ham (on the left) will play big roles to help lead the Lakers into the 2023-24 NBA season.
(Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports, via Lakers Nation)

They have a competitive group that can build on last year’s success. They should be a playoff level team. They could win a round or two in the playoffs, but they will need to stay healthy and come together if they plan on making a deeper playoff run.

Projected 2023-24 Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 2nd in the Western Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to lose in the 2nd Round
2023-24 Preseason NBA Power Ranking: 4

I went to Basketball-Reference and No-Trade Clause to look up some information for this write-up. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the in-season tournament to see how that will unfold. Anyways, that is my write-up on my preview of the 2023-24 Los Angeles Lakers. Thanks for reading.

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