With both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both likely to miss the entire 2019/20 campaign, the Golden State Warriors are not the favourites for next year’s championship for the first time in several years.
Many expect it to be one of the most open season’s in recent memory with a number of high profile free agents potentially changing teams.
The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers could emerge as potential title candidates alongside the likes of the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers who all performed well this past season.
But the bookies’ early favourites to win the title are the Lakers after they finally agreed a trade for Davis.
The Lakers sent Lonzo Bal, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three future first-round picks to the Pelicans.
That has left them with no real options in the guard position on their roster currently.
They have the potential to create enough cap space to sign a max salary player like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, but that would leave them with little to nothing to left to sign other players.
And Barkley insists the Lakers’ main focus should be just on bringing in shooters in the guard positions to accompany Davis, James and Kyle Kuzma.
“It’s clear it’s going to be someone on the perimeter,” he said on NBA TV.
“They got no guards as we speak right now so it’s going to be an interesting.
“Clearly the Lakers are need some perimeter help in the guard position at the 1-2.
“That doesn’t mean they’re going to get these guys just coz they out there.
“Kemba’s in a unique situation, you’ve got Jimmy Butler out there, you got Kyrie.
“This thing is going to be crazy for the next couple of months.”
He added: “I think they were the worst three-point shooting team in the league, but when you’ve got Kyle Kuzma, LeBron and Anthony Davis, you can find some spare parts.
“There’s going to be some guys that want to play in LA just for the lifestyle but it doesn’t make them the prohibitive favourites right off the bat.”