If only the Lakers were part of the Eastern Conference, they could easily grab the seventh or eighth spot. But with the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Wolves, and Clippers already securing the first six slots in the West, the Lakers must beat at least seven more teams to secure one of the two remaining playoff spots.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ move during the NBA Draft stunned many fans after sending D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets. As it turned out, it was a calculated move by magic johnson since they got Brook Lopez and prized-rookie Kyle Kuzma in return. But was it enough to give them a seat in the 2018 NBA Playoffs?

"Showtime" Lakers

Rebuilding the franchise has become Magic's number one priority after he took over as president of the Lakers' basketball operations back in February.

The first order of business is bringing back the same level of intensity of the 1980s “Showtime" Lakers.

Magic wanted to clear the salary cap for the team starting next year so he can bring in certified superstars whom he thinks can help bring the glory back to Los Angeles. This is why they parted ways with D'Angelo Russell so they can unload Mozgov’s three-year contract. Plus, drafting Lonzo Ball also made the decision easier.

Lopez was the ideal replacement -- he's in the prime of his career and only one year left remaining on his contract. If Lopez decided to go after the elusive championship ring, he might agree to sign for a lower salary if Magic can come up with a championship-caliber team.

The trade was also a welcome development for the Lakers as Kuzma become an instant sensation during the Summer League after bagging the MVP award.

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Kuzma joined the Lakers’ long list of athletic big men which include Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Larry Nance, Jr., and Lopez.

Starting five

According to ESPN, Lopez has transformed as the NBA’s best stretch five among starting centers last season. Though some questions his ability when it comes to transition defense, Lopez was able to hold opponents to 47 percent shooting at the baseline in a straight up one-on-one defense.

After assuming the starting shooting guard role late last season, Jordan Clarkson will slide back to the same role head coach Luke Walton originally designed for him -- coming off the bench. Former Detroit Pistons’ sharpshooter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to suit up as the Lakers' starting shooting guard.

If the Lakers cannot find a suitable trade partner to unload Luol Deng’s remaining three-year contract, Brandon Ingram will slide back as his backup, though Magic envisioned him to start at the small forward post in the future. Julius Randle is expected to resume his role as the starting power forward while Nance Jr.

and Kuzma will come off the bench.

Lakers’ chances

Somehow, even with the upgrade on its roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are still expected to come up short this coming season. Bleacher Report predicted that the Lakers could only manage to win 29 games with 100/1 odds of getting an NBA title.

ESPN has a higher projection with 33.0 wins for the Lakers suggesting that the additions of Ball, Caldwell-Pope and Lopez are big contributory factors in increasing the team's offensive RPM. However, their defensive RPM is projected to rank a lowly 28th -- the third-worst in the league. According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers are only ahead of the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings in the West.