Last Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of the Los Angeles Lakers winning their record-equalling 17th NBA championship.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis guided the Lakers to victory against the Miami Heat in the COVID-19 ‘Bubble’ season finals that day, but what are the expectations for the Lake Show heading into the 2022/23 season, which starts against the current champions; the Golden State Warriors, next week.
CBS Sports HQ’s Bill Reiter highlights the Lakers’ decision to trade multiple future first-round draft picks and young players; who are currently flourishing, to gain Davis in the Summer of 2019.
Reiter notes that the Davis trade ultimately proved a success by winning the 2020 championship but at what cost? As the CBS NBA reporter believes LA is still repaying the debt from that trade.
He said: “I think their expectations are extremely, extremely low. I live in LA, there’s a level of delusion here especially amongst fans.
“LeBron James is LeBron James and he certainly was this last year. He is no longer a guy who you can rely on to play 75/82 games and he’ll probably play in the 60-range if things go well.”
The Lakers endured a highly disappointing season in 2022, missing out on the playoffs, after the blockbuster trade for guard Russell Westbrook last Summer has ultimately proven a failure so far.
In addition to the Westbrook issue, Davis has had much publicised injury issues ever since that 2020 triumph, missing 88 out of a possible 170 games since then, almost 50% of all Laker games.
“I think for the Lakers, if things go well and they stay healthy they’re a play-in team, but I don’t think they are much more and I certainly think they can be a lot worse than that,” Reiter continued.
FanDuel sportsbook currently has the Lakers with the 11th best odds of winning this year’s NBA championship (+2500), and ranks them the 8th best team to make the Western conference playoffs at -245.