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As camps open in the coming days, which two teams in the West will you be keeping an eye on and why?
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Steve Aschburner: The Lakers and Wolves. The first one is for obvious reasons, given the circus atmosphere and presumed culture change that will accompany LeBron James’ arrival. The second is more personal, given my time logged in Minnesota and Chicago, and my familiarity with the Timberwolves’ people, history and tribulations. Or would that now be Thibs-ulations? Jimmy Butler needs his best year from his best self, team-wise, while seeding aside his Summer of ’19 focus. Grabbing at the reigns of leadership isn’t the same as actually leading with what a team needs.
Shaun Powell: The Lakers and Wolves. Naturally, there’s a LeBron James-created buzz that begins the moment he appears in uniform on Monday for media day. How he bonds with the Lakers’ young core and their interesting mix of vets on one-year deals will dictate the Lakers’ success in the short-term. As for the Wolves, this team is nuts right now, with Jimmy Butler calling a meeting before camp and Karl-Anthony Towns refusing (so far) to sign a contract extension. Where’s the l