With LeBron James and Anthony Davis returning to a revamped team, the Los Angeles Lakers enter the 2021-22 NBA season as one of the top favorites to win a second NBA title in 3-years.
As the NBA offseason plods along with key moves in the NBA draft and free agency taking shape the NBA odds to win the 2022 NBA title are shifting in accordance. The Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning champions but according to the early serving across multiple market operators, they’re the third-best bet in the field. Top honors are the principality of the Brooklyn Nets in the betting while the Los Angeles Lakers come in as the second-best bet.
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a trying season in which they were unable to defend their championship title. LeBron James essentially called it though, before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season last winter when he made his reservations about the league’s quick turnaround between seasons known on Instagram. Only 71 days separated the Lakers’ 2020 NBA Finals victory from their 2020-21 regular-season opener against the Clippers, marking the shortest offseason in the history of the league.
The Lakers had only just come off their title-winning season in the Orlando bubble when LeBron shared his disapproval about the league’s decision to kick off the new season merely two months later. Later on in the season and through the playoffs as star players succumb to injury one by one, LeBron was quick to say effectively ‘I told you so.’
In a tweet, James unleashed his frustrations without reservation. “they all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well-being of the players which ultimately is the product & benefit of our game!”
“These injuries aren’t just “part of the game”. It’s the lack of pure rim rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 all-stars have missed playoff games(most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane. If there’s one person that knows about the body and how it”
Lebron James’s frustrations were partly fuelled by his side’s trial and tribulations over the course of their title defense campaign. In winning the NBA title in the Orlando bubble, the lakers had expended the most energy – as did the Miami heat who finished runners-up. It follows theirs was the shortest offseason of any other team in the league and they certainly seemed to pay the price last season with a slew of injuries that curtailed their ability to compete to their fullest ability.
Anthony Davis spent a good chunk of the season on the sidelines with injury. Even LeBron fell to the injury bug and was forced to miss a good chunk of the season. Without two of their biggest stars, it’s no wonder the Lakers barely squeaked into the playoffs. Their postseason stint was short-lived though, as they succumbed to the Phoenix Suns in the first round.
NBA odds beginning of the season: the Los Angeles Lakers are tipped as the second-best bet, sandwiched in between the Brooklyn Nets and the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks. Underscoring the Lakers’ value, over and above its Big Three players, are the key moves they made in the offseason.
The Lakers aren’t in a position to make huge signings. They’re extended financially and limited by salary-cap space. So, while they may not have been the biggest movers and shakers in the offseason, the sort that would grab headlines like Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry going to Miami Heat for instance,. what they lack in sensationalism they more than made up for with prudent and smart signings.
The Lakers added seven free agents to the roster in the first 48 hours of free agency, including future Hall of Famers Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard. Carmelo Anthony is arguably the biggest splash so far by the Lakers. He’s a good friend of LeBron James and he should play a huge factor in bolstering the Lakers’ Big Three.
Elsewhere, they made a splash with some bargain signings that could pay dividends, including bringing back former players Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Kent Bazemore. Additionally, they also picked up a couple of young guards that should bring a youthful exuberance to what’s essentially a mature and veteran squad in its 30s — 26-year-old Kendrick Nunn and 23-year-old Malik Monk should not only bring down the average age but they’re sure to inject some enthusiasm and energy into the side.
As things currently stand, the Lakers haven’t exactly gone on an unbridled spending spree like some of their counterparts – save for coming out of the pocket for Carmelo Anthony. And yet, the Lakers have been particular and thoughtful in their signings, and mindful of their lofty ambitions for the 2021-22 NBA season.