In what feels like an every-other-year occurrence in the NBA, the rumor mill on where LeBron James will suit up for the 2022-23 season continues to be a topic of discussion among insiders and the media. However, oddsmakers have him heavily favored to stay in Los Angeles and continue to play with the Lakers.
Online sportsbook Bovada has the Lakers at -3500 in its odds for where LeBron James will play for Game 1 of the 2022-23 NBA season. Los Angeles is followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000), Golden State Warriors (+1000), Dallas Mavericks (+1800) and Phoenix Suns (+2000) to round out the top five.
While it seems preposterous that he would not be in purple and gold for next season, let’s open our minds to the possibility that he could be in a different uniform due to a trade and consider where the value is on this list:
|Los Angeles Lakers||-3500|
|Golden State Warriors||+1000|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+2500|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+5000|
Odds as of April 15 at Bovada
Why Would The Lakers Trade LeBron?
That’s a fair question, especially given how easy it is for the Lakers to lure free agents to Los Angeles. The main reason they might trade him is simply because he’s such a valuable asset and the Lakers could get a king’s ransom for him in a trade package.
Another subplot has been the team’s lack of success over the past two seasons since the bubble, with the Lake Show failing to even make the play-in tournament this season. I’m highly skeptical that the Lakers would trade away LeBron to potentially rebuild again but he is a free agent following this upcoming season. Crazier things have happened in the NBA offseason.
Which Teams Could Trade For Him?
Golden State Warriors (+1000)
A realistic option for the Lakers in terms of trading partners could be the Golden State Warriors. LeBron recently stated that if he were to choose one player to play with in the NBA, it would be Steph Curry. And how can you blame him. The thought of those two playing together is a scary one for opponents. Add in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and the Warriors would be by far the best team in the NBA.
You would think the Warriors would have to give away one of their stars if they were to acquire LeBron. That may be true, but the Warriors have loaded up on young players who are very talented, including Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+1000)
The only other team I could see even having the chance to land LeBron in a trade would be the Cavaliers. Cleveland exceeded expectations this season, finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference with 44 wins.
The Cavs have plenty of young talent in Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Isaac Okoro. I think that if the Cavs were to make a deal for LeBron, it would be with the vision of a power trio of James, Mobley and Garland. A trade would likely require a whole bunch of draft picks along with most of the Cavs’ other young studs.
What do you think? Would the Lakers seriously trade LeBron James? Where would they trade him? Have your say in the comments.
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