);
Los Angeles Lakers

Mid-Summer Power Rankings: LeBron James' arrival adds intrigue to Western Conference

lebron-james-brandon-ingram-080618-ftr-getty
Lakers forwards LeBron James and Brandon Ingram (Getty Images)

In John Schuhmann's mid-summer Western Conference power rankings, the acquisition of LeBron James places the Los Angeles Lakers as the eighth-best team in a top-heavy conference.

MORE: Mid-Summer Eastern Conference power rankings

The defending-champion Warriors take the top spot, while the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz come in at second and third, respectively. By all accounts, the Warriors have managed to get even better by acquiring another All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins, while the Rockets are coming off a record-setting 67-win season. According to Schuhmann, the uncertainty surrounding the Lakers' acquisitions outside of James lands them right on the fringe of playoff contention.

There's no better way to improve your team than by adding LeBron James. And there's no weirder way to complement James than by adding Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson.

Yes, the Cavs needed more playmaking around James last season. But surrounding James with shooting is the simplest way to build a top-10 offence. The Lakers ranked 29th in 3-point percentage last season and, despite all the additions they made, are one of only three teams that doesn't have a player who ranks in the top 50 in 3-point percentage (among players with at least 500 3-point attempts) over the last three years.

But this will be fun to watch, largely just to see how Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma develop around the best player in the world.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves round out Schuhmann's top five, while the Nuggets and Pelicans are the other two teams perceived to qualify for the postseason. San Antonio and Portland fall at ninth and tenth, signifying an imminent dropoff for two teams that qualified for the 2018 playoffs.

More from NBA.com

Dewayne Dedmon
Fast facts: Kings' Dewayne Dedmon
Yash Matange
Oscar Robertson
All-time stat leaders for the Sacramento Kings
Yash Matange
Panaji 3BL
Panaji 3BL to participate in Kaohsiung City Challenger
Yash Matange
Panorama of the court within the larger Nagpada neighbourhood.
Mumbai - A Fastbreak City
Karan Madhok
NBA Academy India student-athletes
NBA Academy India to compete in Hungary
Yash Matange
The official logo of the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2019
FIBA Women's Asia Cup: India's group stage schedule
Yash Matange
More News