The Los Angeles Lakers were an undisputed disaster this year.
The Lakers went 33-49, didn’t even qualify for the NBA play-in round, and kept LeBron James out of the postseason for just the fourth time in his 19-year career.
With roster construction issues, injuries and one of the worst defenses in the NBA, the Lakers need a face-lift to return to form in 2022-23. Can they do it? Betting odds certainly think so.
Bet on all Los Angeles Lakers odds and NBA futures over at Sportsbook:
Lakers 2023 Playoff Odds
Odds as of June 1 at Sportsbook
At -240 odds to make the playoffs, this line suggests the Lakers have a 70.59 percent chance to make the postseason next year. These odds are to make the official 16-team playoff bracket, and would not count if the Lakers are bounced in the play-in tournament.
Sportsbook also has a win total line for Los Angeles, set at 46.5 wins. While you can bet the OVER or UNDER on that line, 47 wins would’ve put the Lakers in seventh place in the Western Conference in 2021-22 and in the play-in round.
Los Angeles’ Path To Playoffs:
LA’s shot at making the playoffs begins and ends with LeBron James. The 37-year-old was just as dominant as ever in 2021-22, making his 18th straight all-star game, scoring 30.3 points per game and posting his most efficient shooting numbers since 2018.
However, James played just 56 games and hasn’t played over 70 games in a season since 2017-18. If he can play most or all of the 2022-23 regular season, the Lakers will make the playoffs. If not, it falls on the shoulders of other Lakers.
Los Angeles got solid contributions from role players like Carmelo Anthony, Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Monk last season, but with injuries to James and Anthony Davis, defense was a huge issue without the two big stars. If LA can address the defensive depth, the team should be able to survive some missed games by James and Davis.
What Could Hold The Lakers Back?
Beyond the potential injury issues for their two best players, the Lakers’ roster construction is deeply flawed. They didn’t have a single player who averaged double-digit rebounds and they posted the 28th-ranked defense in the league in 2022.
It’s easy to say new head coach Darvin Ham and some smart additions could fix the defensive woes, but it’s hard to see where those adds will come from. The Lakers have no cap space and will be reliant on the draw of playing with James and Davis to sign ring-chasing veterans to minimum deals. The Lakers will be forced to dumpster-dive to fix the glaring issues that kept them out of the postseason last year, which doesn’t instill much confidence that things will change in 2022-23.
Will The Lakers Trade Westbrook?
One way to drastically shake up the roster is for the Lakers to trade their No. 3 option, Russell Westbrook. Though Westbrook was the only regular Laker to stay healthy for the entire season, and averaged 18.5 points per game, he just didn’t fit. With Westbrook on the floor, the Lakers were -4.3 points per 100 possessions and he led the team in turnovers by 100.
Trading Westbrook, though, is no easy task. With money-matching requirements in the NBA, the Lakers would have to take back an albatross of a deal to match Westbrook’s $47 million owed in 2022-23.
There are a few options for a Westbrook swap, though, and Sportsbook has the Lakers as potential trade candidates for Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Chicago’s Zach LaVine. The Lakers are tabbed as the third most likely trade destination for both guards, with +400 odds to land Irving, if he’s traded, and +400 for LaVine.
Lock in your Westbrook, LaVine or Irving trade odds over at Sportsbook:
How To Bet On Lakers Futures?
A futures bet is a wager made on an event that has yet to take place. In the case of a Lakers futures bet, that means you can wager on them to make the playoffs, bet on their win total, or even bet on them to win the NBA championship.
To make a Lakers futures bet, head over to Sportsbook and wager on the specific bet you want. At the end of the season, you’ll get your winnings if you nailed how LA will do in 2022-23. For further information on how to bet on NBA games, be sure to check out Odds Shark’s guide to basketball betting.