NBA: Ranking the Pacific Division teams

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To get the brain rattling in the off-season, here is a ranking of the five teams in the Pacific Division, starting with the everyone’s favorite team in purple and golden (insert sarcasm font).

5 – Los Angeles Lakers

2014-15 Record: 21-61
Key Additions: D’Angelo Russell (draft), Roy Hibbert (trade), Brandon Bass (FA), Louis Williams (FA)
Key Losses: Carlos Boozer (FA — still), Jeremy Lin (FA), Ed Davis (FA), Wesley Johnson (FA)

If you ask me, the Los Angeles Lakers had a pretty good offseason: they sucked enough last season to keep their draft pick, which nabbed them no.2 overall pick in D’Angelo Russell, scooped a center Indiana couldn’t wait to get rid of in Roy Hibbert for virtually nothing, will have former top-10 pick in Julius Randle available barring another bothersome injury, and their main guy in Kobe Bryant is back.

This doesn’t stop them from being the worst team in the Pacific division though, which may be the case for the next two or three years unless they nab the superstar the fan base oh-so believes they’re owed, probably because they haven’t gotten over the Chris Paul trade that never was.

But they have a foundation, and though the Lakers — or its loathsome fans — aren’t used to doing things this way, building through the draft and needing to develop its stars from the ground up, that’s all that should matter right now. As the young guys in Russell, Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and other draft picks get reps to improve toward their future, the fans get to key in on what may be Kobe Bryant’s final season. If it was up to all parties involved, Bryant’s last year would come while fighting for another championship, but since things haven’t played in their favor since Dwight Howard‘s arrival — and departure — it’ll come (if it happens) as the Lakers once again sit toward the bottom of the Western Conference.