The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on the NBA title by a whisker last season. The Denver Nuggets knocked them out in the conference finals. Regardless, with the kind of slow start the team had early on, making it to the finals was a huge success. Subsequently, the team retained the core roster during the off-season to have a strong start to the 2023-24 season. It is likely to be LeBron James’ final season in purple and gold, and the Lakers would surely want to bid a fitting farewell with a championship. Here are five reasons why Hollywood will start as a favorite.

1. Improved Shooting

Gabe Vincent, D’Angelo Russell

The Lakers lacked in shooting last season as they ranked 25th in team 3-point percentage. Hence, the front office strengthened the loose end. Rob Pelinka signed Miami Heats guard Gabe Vincent, who scored 37.8% from deep on 6.1 attempts per game last season. He is likely to start over D’Angelo Russell, as per rumors. Moreover, LA’s latest acquisition, veteran Christian Wood, can also provide extra spacing on the front end. Hence, LA is expected to score more this year.


2. Additional Depth

Credit: Basketball Forever

LA Lakers have locked in 14 roster spots this year. Apart from securing the core roster, the front office also strengthened the roster around the edge to increase the depth. The likes of Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, and Christian Wood are expected to play a huge role in depth. While Wood and Haynes will bring relief to Anthony Davis in defense, Reddish and Prince will contribute to the offense. Overall, the roster is potent with reliable depth, which further elevates LA’s championship-winning odds.

3. Austin Reaves’ Rise

Lakers guard Austin Reaves celebrates after making a 54-foot shot ahead of the halftime buzzer in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors earlier this spring at Arena. Reaves, on Thursday, was officially named to the 12-player Team USA roster for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Shooting guard Austin Reaves was probably the most hyped Laker of the 2022-23 NBA season. He came out of nowhere to emerge as a playoff starter for LA in his maiden full-fledged NBA season. His meteoric and sudden rise promoted LA to lock him in a four-year $53 million contract this off-season. Naturally, the expectations will be huge, and Reaves, on his part, is trying his best to prepare well before the new season commences. He is likely to have a breakout season and remain a guiding force of the Lakers’ ultimate championship run.

4. LeBron James’ Hunger

LeBron James
Credit: Associated Press

LeBron James, meanwhile, will be hungrier than ever to secure a championship title next season. It is likely to be his last in purple and gold, and he would certainly want it to finish on a high. James, 38, is still healthy and fresh to take any strong opposition head-on. His energy and resilience will serve as motivation for the younger group in the locker room to fight to the teeth on the court. All things considered, LeBron will give it all he has to lift the Lakers to a championship in 2024.

5. West Is Open For All

Anthony Davis
Credit: NBAE via Getty Images

The competition in the Western Conference was fierce last year. Still, the Lakers managed to crawl from 11th seed to the finals. Hence, LA should not count itself out. Undoubtedly, the Nuggets and Suns will pose a threat. But at the same time, their roster has undergone major changes this off-season. LA will have the upper hand of having a strong and experienced core compared to the West rivals. Thus, LA will start as favorites in the 2023-24 NBA season.