The Los Angeles Lakers head into this offseason with an enormous amount of uncertainty throughout the franchise.
A disastrous 2021-22 season saw Frank Vogel’s ageing roster finish with a 33-49 record, leaving them 11th in the Western Conference standings and out of the Playoffs.
Last summer’s blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook came with plenty of scepticism and the sceptics were vindicated for their questions about the fit he would have next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. At no point did it ever feel like it gelled between their ‘big 3’ and it’s likely that the Lakers will attempt to somehow move Westbrook and his expiring $47 million contract.
Doing that will be easier said than done given the disparity between his level of play and the size of that contract as he enters his 15th season in the NBA.
At 29, Davis should be at the peak of his powers but has spent far too much time on the sidelines with injury. The former New Orleans Pelicans big man has played in just 76 of a possible 154 games over the last two regular seasons for the Lakers and has struggled to replicate his level of play from the 2020 Playoffs.
Then there’s LeBron, who himself missed 26 games this season, thanks likely in large part due to the size of the load he was forced to carry on his shoulders. James played 37.2 minutes per game whilst averaging 30.3 points and played a significant amount of minutes at center in the absence of Davis. He will enter his 20th season in the NBA next year and will turn 38, which begs the question of how much longer he can defy Father Time.
The Lakers have just Westbrook, James, Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves under contract for next season and very little flexibility. Any incoming free agents would be similar to last year’s of minimum contract veterans and one taxpayer’s MLE signing.
And then there’s the small matter of finding a new head coach. There are plenty of NBA betting sites that have already released odds of who will be the next man in the hot seat for the Lakers, one of which is BetOnline.
All of the listed points above would suggest that this is a job that many head coaches would turn their back on. But that’s before you factor in that its the Lakers and the lure that comes with the purple and gold. The ego of most NBA coaches would also lead them to believe that they are the individual who can turn the fortunes of the franchise around.
You can already begin wagering on who the next head coach for the Lakers will be. The current odds for the vacancy are:
- Terry Stotts +500
- Doc Rivers +500
- Mark Jackson +600
- Darvin Ham +600
- Kenny Atkinson +700
- Charles Lee +700
- Adrian Griffin +1100
- Nick Nurse +1200
- Steve Clifford +1200
- David Vanterpool +1200
- Quin Snyder +1200
- Jay Wright +1600
- John Calipari +3300
- Stan Van Gundy +5000
- Jeff Van Gundy +5000
- Becky Hammon +6600
- Mike Krzyzewski +8000
- Phil Jackson +10000
- LeBron James +12500