Back the Lakers All the Way: Blockbuster Additions to Help LeBron and Co. to NBA Title
In case you’re wondering, the Los Angeles Lakers mean business. Having suffered a limp first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns it’s clear that Rob Pelinka was always ready to make serious inroads in the free agency and beyond, in the hopes of beefing up the roster available to Frank Vogel.
It’s fair to say that he did that, and more. Russell Westbrook’s arrival from Washington was perhaps the headline signing of the offseason but the Lakers also brought in Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and a number of additional talents that very much make the Lakers the side to beat in the coming season.
These deals have already had a dramatic effect on the NBA futures market and you can see just how much so by visiting sidelines.io/nba/odds where you’ll note that the Lakers are now second favorites, but closing in fast on the much-fancied Brooklyn Nets.
Last season the Lakers were greatly affected by injuries but that didn’t mean that they were going to sit back and attempt to overhaul the likes of the Nets, the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks without new additions, however it’s true that not many expected this much action in the offseason.
There is some concern about the potential clash of talents, such as the possibility that Westbrook and LeBron might not be able to make it work between them, but these are little unfounded. A greater, perhaps more viable concern, is the average age of the roster, but again that’s an issue for two or three years from now.
Right now Vogel has a great line-up to call upon and you can expect them to ease to the Western Conference title. The Clippers will lose the services of Kawhi Leonard for a large chunk of the season, similarly the Nuggets will have to make do without Jamal Murray.
Other teams who could challenge the Lakers are pretty much one-man outfits, such as Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard at the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers respectively. Which pretty much leaves the Golden State Warriors, but the Lakers are still ahead of Steph Curry and co.
As well as having new big name additions the Lakers have great depth in their roster, with legitimately top talents as back-ups in pretty much all positions. It’s almost an embarrassment of riches that Frank Vogel has to call upon, so much so that if they fail to go long into the postseason then that would represent a real failure by the head coach.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis needed more able, and fit, additions to get back to being a side that could, and should, be getting to the NBA finals at least and the deals that have been done over the summer have more than achieved that goal.
The Lakers pretty much won the free agency, although they may have been run close by the Miami Heat (who also invested very well), and now the stage is set for another assault on the NBA title. Don’t bet against LeBron picking up his fifth NBA ring in a season that could also help Anthony and Westbrook winning their first-ever championships.