Lakers GM/President Rob Pelinka inherited a mess of a team.
Loaded with young, unproven talent, the Purple and Gold were in the Western Conference bunker back in 2017 and still fighting to return to a respectable place.
Fast forward a few years, and the Lakers are back on top of the basketball world, being just over a year removed from a Championship and weeks removed from trading for star point guard Russell Westbrook.
It's an impressive turnaround, much of which can be credited to Pelinka. In a segment on ESPN, Jalen Rose made sure to let the world know how good of a job he's doing.
“All I know is this: My former teammate Rob Pelinka running laps around the rest of the league as it relates to putting this roster together,” said Jalen Rose. “I remember coming on this program for days and days, and weeks and weeks when people were trying to assassinate his character when he got the job. Now, all I see is the best team in basketball.
They still have LeBron James; they still have Anthony Davis, who will be the difference-maker against the Nets or against other teams that like to play small ball, and they added all of those guys. … The Lakers, in my opinion, are the clear-cut best team in basketball. If they stay healthy: LeBron James getting another ring this year.”
Obviously, there are some reasons to doubt that the Lakers can win the title this upcoming season. The roster is older, many of their players have had trouble staying healthy in the past, and they'll have to compete against some stiff competition (including a Nets team with three superstars).
But, all in all, they might have the best roster on paper: LeBron James, Anthony Davis Russell Westbrook, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo
Whether by Rob Pelinka's brilliance, the lure of the big market, or a little bit of both, the Lakers are back on the map and ready to win more rings.
We'll see what this season brings for them, and how long they'll be able to stay among the NBA's elite.