Last Updated: 2018-08-23
The Los Angeles Lakers entered the new era this summer with signing LeBron James on a four-year deal, and the fans just can’t wait for the 2018-19 season to start. Last year, the Lakers finished 11th in the Western Conference and third in the Pacific Division with a 35-47 record (20-21 at home, 15-26 on the road), missing the NBA Playoffs for the fifth year in a row which is the longest streak in the franchise’s history. Hereof, the Lakers just had to make some changes, and acquiring one of the greatest players of all time is certainly the best move they could make.
The futures odds and season props on the Los Angeles Lakers are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from LeBron James and the Lakers in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Los Angeles Lakers Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 49.5: Over +130; Under -150
To Win the Pacific Division at +1100
To Win the Western Conference at +825
To Win the NBA Championship at +1400
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -450, NO +300 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Los Angeles Lakers Player Movement
Draft: Moritz Wagner (No. 25 Pick), Issac Bonga (No. 39 Pick), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (No. 47 Pick)
Added: LeBron James (free agency, Cleveland Cavaliers), Michael Beasley (free agency, New York Knicks), Rajon Rondo (free agency, New Orleans Hornets), Lance Stephenson (free agency, Indiana Pacers), JaVale McGee (free agency, Golden State Warriors)
Lost: Brook Lopez (signed with Milwaukee Bucks), Julius Randle (signed with New Orleans Pelicans), Isaiah Thomas (signed with Denver Nuggets), Channing Frye (signed with Cleveland Cavaliers), Tyler Ennis (waived), Thomas Bryant (waived)
Unrestricted Free Agent: Gary Payton II
Signing LeBron James on a four-year deal brings the Lakers back into a playoff picture, and adding four experienced players alongside the King could make them a serious contender to win the 2019 NBA Championship. Rajon Rondo is a one-time NBA champion and a four-time All-Star, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley are both versatile forwards who can make some important buckets off the bench, while JaVale McGee is coming to Los Angeles after winning two straight championships with the Golden State Warriors.
Rajon Rondo spent the last season playing in New Orleans where he averaged 8.3 points and 8.2 assists in 26.2 minutes per game, but he improved drastically in the playoffs to record 10.3 points and 12.2 assists in 33.6 minutes per game. Michael Beasley had a wonderful season with the Knicks, averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds on 50.7% shooting from the field. Lance Stephenson played in all 82 games for the Indiana Pacers, recording 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, while JaVale McGee appeared in 65 regular-season games for the Warriors, averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds.
At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Moritz Wagner with the 25th overall pick, and the 21-year old center could get some minutes in his rookie season. Wagner played three seasons at Michigan, averaging 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in his junior year when he led the Wolverines to the NCAA Championship game. Has a soft touch and does most of his damage off the pick and pop and spot-up situations, but will need to improve his defense as soon as possible.
From the Sixers’ 39th overall pick, the Lakers got the talented point forward Isaac Bonga, but the 18-year old just started his professional career in Germany and looks too young for the NBA level. On the other hand, the 47th overall pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk spent four years at Kansas, having an important role in his senior year when he averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 34.5 minutes per game. However, Mykhailiuk will have a tough assignment to earn some minutes alongside Brandon Ingram and Lance Stephenson.
Los Angeles Lakers 2018-19 Roster
LeBron James will be a heart and a soul of this Lakers team, as the King played in the previous eight NBA Finals, four times with the Miami Heat and four times with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the last four years, LeBron won one championship with the Cavs along with three losses against the Warriors, and this will be LeBron’s first team at the west coast after playing 15 years in the Eastern Conference. Last year, James started in all 82 games during the regular season to average 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists while shooting 54.2% from the field. In the post-season, LeBron was outstanding, averaging 34.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists on 53.9% shooting from the field.
James will do all the things his team needs to win games, but he should be mostly playing at small and power forward. In the clutch moments, the ball will be in the King’s hands for sure. LeBron will need some time to get along with new teammates, so building up the form for the second half of the season should be a perfect situation for him and the Lakers. James will try to get the best out of the young and talented core, but at this points of view, the Lakers’ rotation stays a mystery.
The 20-year old Lonzo Ball had a solid rookie season, missing 30 games due to injury problems while averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in 34.2 minutes per game. Lonzo’s shot mechanic is still an issue, but the talented point guard should benefit from LeBron’s arrival to get more space for his jump shots. The 23-year old Josh Hart was another rookie who played an important role last season, recording 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should be a starting shooting guard after playing 74 games last season, all as a starter, to record 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
The 20-year old small forward Brandon Ingram had a breakthrough season, his second in the league, averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while hitting 47.0% of his field goals. Ingram should continue to contribute as a starter at small forward, and it will be interesting to see how he will cooperate with LeBron. The 23-year old Kyle Kuzma is another hot prospect, as the 27th overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft had a magnificent rookie season with the Lakers, averaging 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game. Kuzma will probably play fewer minutes in this term, but he will be an important factor, especially when the Lakers play with a small ball lineup.
Players Under Contract:
Lonzo Ball (PG), Rajon Rondo (PG)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG), Josh Hart (SG), Alex Caruso (SG)
Brandon Ingram (SF), Lance Stephenson (SF), Luol Deng (SF), Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (SF)
LeBron James (SF-PF), Kyle Kuzma (PF), Michael Beasley (PF), Travis Wear (PF)
JaVale McGee (C), Ivica Zubac (C), Moritz Wagner (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Lakers will need some time to gel the things and start playing like a well-organized team, but the head coach Luke Walton should be the right man for this task. Walton’s team is already the fourth strongest contender to win the 2019 NBA Championship with the odds at +1400 on BetDSI Sportsbook, while the Lakers are +825 favorites to win the Western Conference. Even if they play above the expectations, the most difficult task for the Lakers will be to surpass the Warriors at the end of the regular season and win the Pacific Division at +1100.
The bookies set the line on the total win at 48.5 games, and betting on the over should be a nice pick at -115, as this Lakers are a completely different team than the those from the previous season who won 35 games. The Lakers will surely have some ups and downs during the 2018-19 season, but if they stay healthy, LeBron and his teammates should reach the 50-win mark. The firm competition in the Western Conference promises a thrilling battle for the post-season, and the Lakers should be among the top eight teams at the west coast. LeBron James is the first fave to win the 2019 NBA MVP Award with the odds at +400, and this could be a nice wager, as the King will have a huge motive to once more prove his worth in Los Angeles.
The Pick: Over 49.5 (+130)
Prediction: Western Conference Semi-Finals
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