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Reacts: Are the Lakers now a playoff team after trade deadline success?

Once seen as a team with very limited postseason chances, does a strong trade deadline for the Lakers change their playoff outlook?

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Los Angeles Lakers fans and fans across the country.
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Roughly a month ago, we had a Reacts survey asking what the realistic postseason chances were for the Lakers. At the time, the team had only just traded for Rui Hachimura and was coming off a memorable comeback in Portland.

A lot has changed in the month since, including some frustrating losses and a lot of roster overhaul. The Lakers improved drastically at the trade deadline, as our recent survey showed, but is it enough to change their postseason chances and ceiling?

This week’s Reacts survey asks the same question as last month with the new context surrounding the team, ranging from the trade deadline improvements to the current standings.

It’s hard not to feel more optimistic about the Lakers moving forward. But will they have enough time to reach their ceiling? Because as constructed, over an 82-game season, this is a playoff team and one that wins at least one series.

This is not an 82-game season though, nor are they starting on level footing with the rest of the conference. They have to make up a gap to even get in the play-in, let alone get to the playoffs themselves. Adding talented players like D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba will raise the ceiling of this team from prior to the deadline, ultimately. The question is whether this team can really pull off a winning run that the Lakers haven’t had in years.

But with the roster greatly improved, the vibes significantly better, Anthony Davis healthy and LeBron James committed to the cause, the optimism surrounding the team is something we haven’t seen in multiple seasons and has everyone thinking big.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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