In any given season, every NBA team starts off with its own set of expectations. The success or failure of their season will be measured by how close they come to meeting them.
Of course, for some teams, failure is the expectation. One of the league’s worst-kept secrets is that some teams enter a season wanting to lose – after all, the NBA draft rewards it.
That certainly was not the case for the Lakers in 2020-21. They didn’t own the rights to their first-round pick, and even if they did, they wouldn’t have sought to maximize it.
With LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis on their roster, a 33-win season fell drastically short of expectations.
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Next year, the Lakers will still be expecting to win, but if they want to meet those expectations, they’d better make some changes this summer. On the other hand, the Indiana Pacers will probably welcome losses as a rebuilding club.
In between those two sides is the Chicago Bulls. They’ll be expecting to win, but they won’t face the same pressure as the Lakers.
Here’s a deal that could help each squad live up to their expectations in 2022-23.