The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are two of the most storied franchises in the NBA but both have fallen on hard times. They took two very different approaches to the 2015 NBA Draft and their decisions have affected the NBA betting futures.
The Similarities Between The Teams
It’s interesting to note the similarities between the teams as they are almost identical. Both teams just spent the 2014-15 season tanking, both teams have a superstar and both teams have plenty of cap space. Yes, the Lakers are in a bit of a different spot as they have Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson – at least the semblance of a team – but the Knicks have the younger superstar in Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks Strategy
By now, pretty much every person in New York City has booed Kristaps Porzingis. We saw Stephen A. Smith get on ESPN and shred Phil Jackson for his decision to draft the Latvian big man and sources suggest Carmelo Anthony really doesn’t like the pick. And we’ve seen a lot of bettors write off the Knicks for the 2015-16 season. As harsh as some of it has been, it’s hard to argue with the latter point. By drafting Porzingis, the Knicks took the player that is least ready to contribute right away. Guys like Emmanuel Mudiay and Justise Winslow look like they’re much more likely to contribute right off the bat than Porzingis. And the challenge is that while there are a number of quality free agents on the board, nobody is going to want to come to New York to join a rebuild. Guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are going to eye someone who is closer to contending.
So if you’re looking at Knicks futures, their regular season win total is going to be uber low, their NBA odds to win anything – division, conference, title – are going to be about as long as can be. And with questions about Derek Fisher and whether he’s already lost the locker room, you might want to bet against them across the board.
The Lakers Strategy
Some Lakers fans were disappointed but not nearly on the level of Knicks fans. Many Lakers backers wanted them to grab a big man like Jahlil Okafor. The idea would be that with Okafor, Randle, Bryant, Clarkson and maybe Love/Aldridge, this could be a playoff team. Instead, the Lakers showed a lack of faith in Clarkson and drafted D’Angelo Russell instead. Even so, bettors have to be somewhat upbeat about this team. If Russell is the real deal and can play right away, the whole trajectory of this team will change. Russell performing at Rookie of the Year-type of a level with a healthy Kobe Bryant and Randle, and another weapon in the frontcourt – whoever it may be – should get this team close to the playoffs. And who knows, we’ve heard rumors of Dwyane Wade eyeing the Lakers. As it stands, the Lakers should have about $23 million to play with plus some sign-and-trade flexibility.
With the Lakers futures, there’s no way you bet them to win the division, conference or title. However, this does look like a team that has turned a corner – unlike the Knicks. If the regular season win total comes out low – maybe in the 33-35 win range – then consider betting the over at sportsbooks like Bovada.