UPDATE: As of July 1, the Los Angeles Lakers have announced that LeBron James has signed a four-year contract to suit up next season in L.A.
Another NBA season has come and gone, and with it, the Golden State Warriors have beaten LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the third time in four years. With James becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason, there is NBA betting news that he’s played his last game in a Cavs uniform with the Los Angeles Lakers now -5000 favorites to sign LeBron.
As of June 30, The Los Angeles Lakers are -5000 favorites to sign LeBron James in the offseason.
With the loss, James’ record in the Finals is now 3-6. You certainly can’t fault him for the Warriors sweeping the Cavs, however, as James single-handedly carried his team to the championship round in what was one of the most impressive postseasons of his illustrious career. A lack of secondary scoring by his teammates, poor defense and an all-time mental blunder at the end of Game 1 by J.R. Smith didn’t help matters. Simply put, James did everything he could to beat the Warriors and it still wasn’t nearly good enough.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, James is only willing to listen to free-agent pitches by the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason. It’s expected that James will opt out of his current deal and seek a full max contract that will be worth $35 million-plus per season.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, James would prefer to not be the first star to join the Lakers. As a result, Los Angeles has felt the pressure to land another impact player before James makes his decision. A trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard could be in the cards, as well as a run at James’ fellow UFA Paul George. For more odds on where Leonard, George, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Kemba Walker and Markelle Fultz will suit up next season, click here.
Where Will LeBron Go?
With James’ future more uncertain than ever, Sportsbook has released odds on where the King will end up for the 2018-19 season after he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers are the -155 favorites, with the Cavaliers (+200), 76ers (+550), Boston Celtics (+900), Rockets (+950), San Antonio Spurs (+2800), New York Knicks (+3000), Los Angeles Clippers (+4000) and Miami Heat (+4000) listed as the next likeliest candidates.
The Lakers have skyrocketed up the board lately and are now the undisputed front-runners as a result. Since May 29, the 76ers’ odds of signing King James have slipped from +150 to +550. The Cavs, who were +175 in late May and +350 the day after losing Game 4 of the NBA Finals, are now +200. Since June 10, the Rockets’ chances have fallen from +275 to +950. In light of the news that Kawhi Leonard has requested a trade out of San Antonio, the Spurs’ chances of signing James have slipped from +1000 to +2800.
UPDATE: As of June 30, online sportsbook Sportsbook has released odds if James will sign with the Lakers at a whopping -5000 with the field’s odds set at +1500. According to the sportsbook, public money has been pouring in all day for James to play in a Lakers uniform next season so the growing momentum of LeBron heading to California seems to be a lock.
What do you think? Is LeBron going to be back with his hometown team, or will he take his talents elsewhere? Have your say in the comments.
To read more on the betting odds for which team will win the 2018-19 NBA championship, click here.