The Los Angeles Lakers made several blockbuster moves to improve the team and provide LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a strong supporting cast of characters, including Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. Despite the bodacious moves by the Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets are still the favorite at +220 odds to win the 2022 NBA Championship.

NBA 2022 Championship odds LA Lakers Brooklyn Nets
Russell Westbrook joins the LA Lakers in a mega-trade with the Washington Wizards, but the Lakers aren’t the favorite to win the 2022 title. (Image: Clutch Sports)

After adding Westbrook and Melo, the Lakers saw their NBA championship odds tick up a tad to +380.

  • Brooklyn Nets +220
  • LA Lakers +380
  • Golden State Warriors +800
  • Milwaukee Bucks +900
  • Phoenix Suns +1600
  • Utah Jazz +1600
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1800
  • Denver Nuggets +2200
  • LA Clippers +2500
  • Dallas Mavericks +2800
  • Miami Heat +2800
  • Atlanta Hawks +3500
  • Boston Celtics +5000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +5000
  • Chicago Bulls +6000
  • New York Knicks +8000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +9000
  • Charlotte Hornets +10000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +10000
  • Indiana Pacers +10000
  • Toronto Raptors +12000
  • Washington Wizards +15000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +25000
  • San Antonio Spurs +25000
  • Sacramento Kings +25000
  • Detroit Pistons +50000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +50000
  • Houston Rockets +50000
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +50000
  • Orlando Magic +50000

The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks are +900 odds to secure a repeat. The Phoenix Suns, the runner-up in the 2021 NBA Finals, are fifth-best on the futures board at +1600 odds to win the 2022 championship.

Lakers Add Westbrook and Melo

LeBron leveraged the front office to add some of his closest friends to the roster, but will they be able to secure their first championship and another title for the Lakers?

Anthony, 37, heads into his 19th season as an NBA player. He signed a veteran minimum contract for a shot at winning a championship. Melo knocked down nearly 41% of his 3-pointers last season with the Blazers as he embraced his position as a role player and valuable scoring threat off the bench. He’s still a defensive liability, so the Lakers hope that doesn’t bite them in the butt in the 2022 postseason.

Westbrook, 32, is a triple-double machine. He averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists, and 11.5 rebounds with the Washington Wizards last season. For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Westbrook averaged a triple-double throughout the entire season. Will LeBron allow Westbrook to do his thing or can he persuade RWB to modify his stats-oriented game to win a title?

The Brooklyn Nets were the favorites to win the 2021 title until injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving derailed their championship aspirations. The Milwaukee Bucks edged out the short-handed Nets in seven games and, inevitably, won the championship. A healthy Big 3 in Brooklyn will be tough to beat next season, and their current odds reflect the overall sentiment among oddsmakers and bettors

Howard’s Hollywood Sequel

With Westbrook and Melo garnering most of the attention, Dwight Howard returning to the Lakers flew under the radar. Howard, 35, is the former #1 pick in the NBA Draft. He averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season as Joel Embiid’s backup with the 76ers. It might appear that Howard is washed up and on the last couple of holes in the back nine of his storied career, but the Lakers think he still has some gas in the tank.

“We’re supposed to be together,” Howard told the LA Times. “Just something about the Lakers and myself. I had some of my greatest times, some of my greatest moments here in a Lakers jersey playing in LA. And I played with arguably the greatest player in the NBA with Kobe. Now playing with LeBron and AD, and Russ and Melo, it’s like a dream.”

Now that the Lakers have assembled a “dream team,” the onus is on them to stay healthy. Otherwise, the Lakers are setting themselves up to fail. Hollywood producers try to assemble all-star casts all the time, but very few reach critical and commercial success. This All-Star lineup also has a high probability of generating a box-office bomb.

Hopeful Warriors, Blazers Reboot, Simmons Trade?

The Golden State Warriors are +800 odds to win their first title since 2018. Klay Thompson is expected back after missing the past two seasons with serious injuries. And there are no shortage of rumors swirling around the Bay Area that the Warriors will make a trade to acquire Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers.

Speaking of trades with the Blazers, the Philadelphia 76ers have yet to trade Ben Simmons. The rumor on the street for the past couple of weeks is that the Blazers would send CJ McCollum to Philly in exchange for Simmons. In the offseason, Simmons is expected to work on his jump shot and free-throw shooting, which were two glaring liabilities during the postseason. The 76ers suggested that Simmons develop a proper right-handed jumper instead of his janky lefty shot.

The 76ers are +1800 odds to win the 2022 championship, while the Blazers are +5000 odds.

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