Will the Lakers be able to make the playoffs next season?
I think that depends on Kobe Bryant. The Western Conference is very competitive and with an aging Pau Gasol, no Metta, and Kobe's health in jeopardy, I don't know.
I think the Clippers are the favorites to win the West, with Oklahoma City not far behind. San Antonio is probably 3rd in the Conference. Houston could flip-flop with San Antonio. Golden State and Denver are still there. The Pelicans look a lot better on paper this year. Memphis will probably be a 7 or 8 seed. Utah and Phoenix look much improved.
It depends on Kobe.