New-Look Lakers

LeBron James may have to share his throne — the triple-double king is joining the Lakers.

Hours before the draft, the Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards came to an agreement to send Russell Westbrook to L.A. in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and last night’s 22nd pick.

The Lakers now have a three-headed monster of Westbrook, James, and Anthony Davis, who have a combined 34 All-NBA selections. This puts them in elite company: The 2003-04 Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton are the only other trio with 30 or more.

Los Angeles’ shiny new toy looks great on paper, but they have a ton of holes to fill, starting with spacing and depth. 

They lost Danny Green to the Sixers last season, and now they’re losing two of their best perimeter shooters in Kuzma and KCP. Additionally, Dennis Schröder and Wesley Matthews are free agents.

The Big 3 doesn’t pose much of a threat from deep with their combined career three-point shooting average of 32%. Plus, they’re owed $121 million in 2021-22 — leaving L.A. with a little over $10 million before reaching the luxury tax threshold.

Despite the concerns, the Lakers have three of the best players in the NBA — two who rank in the top five for most triple-doubles in league history. Nobody is going to want these guys in the postseason.

They have the second-best odds to win the 2022 NBA Finals (+400*). Brooklyn remains the favorite at +200*.