Notorious LeBron hater calls the Lakers arguably the deepest team in the NBA

James Kingsley
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless, a notorious critic of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, had some major praise for the Lakers after their wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Bayless suggested that the Lakers are arguably the deepest team in the Western Conference, especially if the team is able to get injured players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent back this season.

“This team is poised to get Jarred Vanderbilt back, at some point before the season ends,” Bayless said. “This team is poised to get Gabe Vincent back sooner than later – maybe within the next week or so.”

Bayless went on to praise Vanderbilt’s defensive acumen as well as Vincent’s track record with the Miami Heat as a proven playoff performer.

With those two players potentially returning, Bayless compared the Lakers to the defending champion Denver Nuggets, who bounced Los Angeles from the playoffs last season.

“You’re looking at arguably the deepest team in the Western Conference,” Bayless said. “Are they better than Denver? I don’t know. Because they’ve lost eight straight to Denver but six of the last seven went to the bitter end.”

There’s no doubt that the Lakers have a ton of depth – if they can get healthy – especially since they added guard Spencer Dinwiddie in the buyout market.

Dinwiddie came up with a clutch defensive play against Damian Lillard in the team’s win over the Bucks on Friday night.

Los Angeles currently holds the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, but the team is just two games out of the No. 6 seed. If the Lakers can reach a top-six spot in the West, they’d avoid the play-in tournament this season.

Last season, Los Angeles reached the Western Conference Finals as a team that participated in the play-in, and one could argue that the Lakers have more depth this season than they did in the 2022-23 campaign.

The team brought back key players like James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell from last season’s squad, but additions like Vincent, Dinwiddie, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood (when all healthy) give the Lakers a ton of ways to mix and match their rotation depending on the opponent.

Los Angeles needs to close out the regular season strong before looking ahead to the playoffs, but Bayless clearly has some confidence in this Lakers team given its recent play.

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James is a Los Angeles native who has been a fan of the Lakers since the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant days. He has been writing and editing for over 10 years now and is excited to bring his skillset to the Ahn Fire Digital team.