Despite succumbing to injuries and stumbling to a 37-45 finish last season, the re-tooled Lakers come into the 2019-20 season owning the best odds to win the Western Conference. After a seismic shift in the power balance of the league this past offseason, perennial league powerhouse Golden State – while still dangerous – is far from the dominant force that reigned supreme for the past five seasons. New players like the Clippers snatched elite talent from across the league to build a roster capable of winning the West while title contender Houston somehow seemingly upgraded James Harden‘s sidekick.
However, the Lakers – who now boast a pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis – seem to be the early favorite for oddsmakers as they attempt to gain a better understanding of the new NBA landscape. In such a star-studded conference, the Lakers’ combination of elite talent and quality depth give them a very realistic chance to not only make the playoffs for the first time since 2013 but appear in their first finals since 2010.
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Lakers Own Best Odds to Win Western Conference in 2019-20
Sitting at +180, the Lakers narrowly edge out the Clippers (+220) for the best overall odds to win the West. Outside of star-laden teams like the Clippers, Warriors, and Rockets though, an extremely dangerous crop of teams still lurk below who are more than capable of making a run at the Western Conference crown.
Denver, an exciting young team who posted the second-best record in the West last season, returns nearly the entire roster and looks to take another step forward in their development as one of the West’s perennial powerhouses. The Utah Jazz also seem to have upgraded in the offseason with the addition of Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic making them a legitimate title contender as well.
Prior to filling out their roster, the Lakers and Clippers shared equal odds to bring home the 2020 NBA title, however, seeing as the Lakers now hold a slight edge over the Clippers to win the conference, it seems oddsmakers feel the Lakers did a slightly stronger job at filling out the remaining holes in their roster.
Lakers 2019 Offseason Roster Additions
While the Lakers brought back contributors like Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in free agency, they made their biggest splash on the trade market by moving nearly their entire young core – minus Kyle Kuzma – to the Pelicans for Davis. Despite striking out on luring Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers were able to bring on Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, and DeMarcus Cousins – the last of which on an incredibly team-friendly contract.
While the Lakers don’t have the money to keep Cousins around longterm should he show the ability to get back to his old ways, he makes for an extremely useful one-year rental who could be the catalyst for a title run should he be able to play and stay at full health over the course of the season.