In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, first of all congrats on escaping from under that rock, second of all the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer in contention for the 2017 NBA Title. They and 28 other teams have been eliminated as the world waits on Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. I know it’s shocking, so I’ll give you a second.
You’re back? Okay, all is not lost. The Lakers might be out of the 2017 title hunt, but to paraphrase Lloyd Christmas, I’m saying there’s a chance they could win the next one.
According to internet sportsbook BetOnline.ag, the Lakers do indeed have a theoretical chance to win the 2018 NBA Championship. A 100/1 chance, to be exact, higher than the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons and Miami HEAT (125/1). Better than the Portland Trail Blazers (125/1), Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks (150/1). And far better than the moribund Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings (500/1).
The Lakers winning a title might seem crazy and it probably is, but the oddsmakers putting them ahead of multiple teams that were better than them this year to some degree probably reflects a belief that the team's young core will improve, as well as the possibility that the team could add a notable name in free agency or a trade (wink, Paul George) this summer.
But could the Lakers really win a title? Most likely not, which is why they have lower odds than the majority of the NBA. It still seems worth noting, however, how much faith oddsmakers have in them versus other bottom-dwellers from the past few seasons.