2018-2019 LA Lakers Team Preview and Betting Picks
Staples Center – Los Angeles, California
Luke Walton – Head Coach
Western Conference – Pacific Division
2017 Record: 35-47
The LA Lakers were one of the busiest teams in the offseason and are making an effort to put together a team that can compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers have set themselves up with several key draft picks over the past few years and this year, picked up one of the best veterans to ever play the game of basketball! Can the combination of youth and experience put the Lakers over the threshold and back into the postseason? Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 2018-2019 LA Lakers and determine where we think they will end up.
LA Lakers Coaching
The LA Lakers are coached by Luke Walton. Walton is the son of NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Bill Walton. Walton made his presence known as an assistant, while he was with the Golden State Warriors from 2014-2016.
Walton was appointed the acting Head Coach of the Warriors while their Head Coach Steve Kerr was out with various back injuries. Walton was very well liked by players and administration alike, and in the end caused him to be offered the LA Lakers Head Coaching position in 2016.
Walton has missed the postseason both years that he has been with the Lakers but this year, he is hoping that with the key acquisitions that they have obtained, the Lakers will get back into the postseason this year.
LA Lakers Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Lakers used their 1st round NBA Draft selection to pick 25th and take Michigan Wolverines Power Forward Moritz Wagner.
- June 22, 2018 – The Lakers used the first of two 2nd round NBA Draft selections to pick 39th and take Frankfurt Skyliners Small Forward Isaac Bonga.
- June 22, 2018 – The Lakers used the second of their two 2nd round NBA Draft selection to pick 47th and take Kansas Shooting Guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
- June 30, 2018 – The Lakers waived Thomas Bryant, who later signed with the Washington Wizards.
- July 6, 2018 – The Lakers re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a 1-year contract worth $12-million dollars.
- July 6, 2018 – The Lakers signed free agent Rajon Rondo, formerly of the New Orleans Pelicans, to a 1-year contract worth $9-million dollars.
- July 9, 2018 – The Lakers signed the biggest player in the 2018 free agency period in LeBron James, formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers, to a 4-year contract worth $156-million dollars.
- July 9, 2018 – The Lakers waived Julius Randle, who later signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.
- July 10, 2018 – The Lakers signed free agent Lance Stephenson, formerly of the Indiana Pacers, to a 1-year contract worth $4.5-million dollars.
- July 10, 2018 – The Lakers signed free agent JaVale McGee, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, to a 1-year contract worth $2.4-million dollars.
- July 16, 2018 – The Lakers waived Isaiah Thomas, who later signed with the Denver Nuggets.
- July 17, 2018 – The Lakers waived Brook Lopez, who later signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
- July 19, 2018 – The Lakers waived Tyler Ennis, who later signed with Fenerbahce.
- July 19, 2018 – The Lakers waived Channing Frye, who later signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- July 21, 2018 – The Lakers signed undrafted free agent Johnathan Williams, formerly of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
- July 23, 2018 – The Lakers signed free agent Michael Beasley, formerly of the New York Knicks, to a 1-year contract worth $3.5-million dollar contract.
- July 24, 2018 – The Lakers resigned Travis Wear to a two-way contract.
- September 21, 2018 – The Lakers waived Luol Deng, who later signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LA Lakers Starting 5
Rajon Rondo (PG) – Rondo was thought to be brought in to serve as the teacher for Lonzo Ball. Rondo is slowing down over the years after being in the league for 12 years but his intensity is still with him and he has tons of heart!
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG) – He improved his 3-point shooting as the year went on last season. He averaged double-digit scoring and is excited to play alongside LeBron James, who just so happens to represent him at his sports agency.
LeBron James (SF) – Without a doubt, the biggest transaction of the 2018 free agency was the Lakers signing LeBron James. James is still one of the best players in the league and he has the ability to put the Lakers on his back and lead them back to the playoffs.
Brandon Ingram (PF) – Ingram will get a big push from LeBron joining the team. His 3-point shooting got better in 2017-2018 and if he can find a way to get more aggressive on the glass, he can turn into a strong everyday player for the Lakers.
JaVale McGee (C) – McGee really is a basic average player that doesn’t stand out anywhere but the one thing he does have is a pair of NBA Finals rings with the Golden State Warriors.
LA Lakers Key Bench Players
Lonzo Ball (PG) – For now, I have him listed as coming off the bench but most believe he will end up somehow in the starters role by the end of the season. Ball’s issue is his shooting isn’t on par with where it needs to be at this stage in his career.
Josh Hart (SG) – Josh Hart looked really strong in the summer league and if he continues to progress, he is going to make it really hard on the Lakers as they will want to get him on the court as much as possible.
Kyle Kuzma (PF) – Kuzma will have Ingram on the fence and if Ingram doesn’t start sinking the big shots, Kuzma could move right into the starting spot. Kuzma isn’t afraid to take the tough shot and is very reliable under the rim.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for LA Lakers
The Lakers organization made sure that they are going to be competitive by going out and signing the top free agent in the league. They will now be led by LeBron James, who has basically led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the postseason with a relatively weak lineup.
The Lakers are going to be a much improved defensive team. They have improved the past two years across the board in defensive statistics and with the current lineup, they should improve again this year.
The Lakers missed the postseason last year but I think they will find their way back to the postseason this year. With LeBron James on the starting lineup, barring an injury, he can single-handedly lead them to the postseason. What they do after they get there will depend on how this unit comes together as a team.
There are a lot of unanswered questions that I have about the Lakers and that is keeping me from placing any wagers on this team for futures. Their regular season wins total over at MyBookie is set at 49.5 games. At first, I wanted to play the over but then it concerns me of what would happen if James gets hurt and misses any time, how will they get wins without leadership.
Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the LA Lakers:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +1200
- Odds to Win Western Conference Championship: +700
- Odds to Win Pacific Division: +1200
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 49.5
- NBA MVP Odds: LeBron James +300
- NBA MVP Odds: Lonzo Ball +30000
Don’t forget to check out our NBA Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings with each team in the NBA throughout the season!