It’s been a while since expectations were this high for the Los Angeles Lakers. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis both on the roster, it’s fair to say the 2019-2020 NBA season will be considered a disappointment for the league’s marquee franchise if it doesn’t end with a championship.

Several factors will determine how far the Lakers go next year. How will Davis and James perform as teammates? Will Kawhi Leonard and Paul George make the Los Angeles Clippers the new team to beat in the NBA?

Here are three early predictions for the Lakers in 2019-2020:

Anthony Davis will lead the Lakers in scoring

In every one of his 16 NBA seasons, James has been his team’s leading scorer. That streak could finally end next year when he plays with a much younger superstar that has averaged at least 28 points per game in two of the last three years.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes has reported that James will start at point guard next season. It’s a move that makes sense, given the construction of the Lakers’ roster. James could average a career-high in assists as he runs the offense, and Davis will benefit more than anyone. The James-Davis pick-and-roll will be devastating for opposing defenses. The big man could conceivably score close to 30 points per game with the number of clean looks he’ll get at the basket.

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans watches the action against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, Feb. 22, 2019. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Lakers will make a midseason trade

James’ teams have become known for shaking up their roster. The Cleveland Cavaliers made 27 trades during the superstar’s second stint with the organization as they made four straight trips to the NBA Finals. Expect the Lakers to make some kind of move before February’s trade deadline.

Los Angeles’ options could be limited since they just traded most of their assets to acquire Davis. On Dec. 15, all of the free agents they just signed with be eligible to get dealt. Swapping a few short-term contracts for a veteran that has a lot of money coming to him could make sense. Even if it means acquiring an aging player that’s overpaid, the Lakers might do it if it can help them win a title during James’ remaining years as a top player.

The Clippers will have the best record in Los Angeles

The two L.A. teams are essentially co-favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals. The Lakers have the league’s best duo and a real chance to win another title, but the Clippers are in a better position to have a great regular season with the additions of Leonard and George.

The Lakers have a ton of question marks on the roster after James and Davis. With so many new players, the team will also need time to gel. The Clippers are bringing back many of the same players that helped the team win 48 games last season. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell lead the league’s best bench. Leonard’s load management didn’t stop the Toronto Raptors from finishing with the NBA’s second-best record in 2018-2019, and the Clippers might have a deeper roster than the defending champs.