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LeBron James Free Agency Odds Are Back Up

The odds for LeBron James’ potential team in 2018-19 have emerged from the ether to tease bettors yet again, and there are some discernable differences from last time around. Fans in Los Angeles have even thrown up a billboard saying “LABron” in the iconic purple and gold to try and lure the greatest player of this generation. Who is really in the running?

Odds per

Cleveland Cavaliers +250
The most obvious choice from the start is the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron is free to entertain his options, and his home town club is always going to be the first choice. General manager Koby Altman did some big moves at the trade deadline, and while there was some great momentum prior to the break, things have really leveled off. The Cavs are just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games.

Logic plays a big part in keeping Cleveland at the top of this weird NBA specials market. People say that LeBron can’t survive abandoning his home town a second team, but he clearly can. This guy is redefining the word “transcendent”. Besides, he already did Cleveland a solid by bringing them a championship.

The big problem is that Cleveland is pretty much locked in to this roster. They’ll owe somewhere around $137M towards the cap next year and have very little room to both bring back Rodney Hood and extend Larry Nance Jr. Let’s be frank here: the way this team is built won’t contend with Toronto or Boston next season especially with Hayward back in the fold.

So how does Cleveland actually get better if they keep LeBron? It’s really hard to say. They did nothing to fix their interior defence, and the run-n-gun style that they play has no place in the playoffs. All the trades they made were great gestures by the Cavs to prove that they’re willing to do “whatever it takes”, but the inability to shed the JR Smith, Korver and Love deals which are crippling this cap seriously diminish the prospects that Cleveland can attract.

LeBron at his peak went to Miami to play with Wade and Bosh. LeBron in his older years will probably want more help than what he’s getting in Cleveland. Which is also why…

Los Angeles Lakers +400 / Philadelphia 76ers +500
Neither of these teams make sense either. Embiid and Simmons are a logical pairing as they’re young and full of potential. It would be hilarious to think that Sam Hinke put together a roster that eventually attracted the most important player in the NBA, but I think it’s unlikely. The team has the money and the talent but it would be shocking to see LeBron bolt to a team like this, especially given the lack of proven success that the Embiid-Simmons combination has had overall.

The only reason the Lakers make any sense is if LeBron has a secret handshake agreement with someone he wants to play with, like Paul George. If you have inside information, 4-to-1 is a great mark to get this number at. I don’t buy in to the ancilliary reasons LeBron would sign here. Who cares that he has a house in LA or a production company? He also has a private jet I’m pretty sure, or a Hyperloop or something. Getting to Los Angeles when he feels like it is not a problem.

Houston Rockets +250
I’m not buying it. Not until Chris Paul signs on the dotted line. Even then it’s a stretch. For LeBron to leave Cleveland, he needs some insurance and the thinly laced Rockets wouldn’t have nearly enough money to go around after signing CP3 and LeBron to enormous contracts. Besides, this is the second favorite on the board. These bets aren’t any fun. I prefer more clairvoyant predictions so the other franchise in Texas is a way better wager.

San Antonio Spurs +2000
The best bet to lob a flier at (you know I love my flier bets) is the Spurs. People made a big to-do about Gregg Popovich showering LeBron with praise, but that had more to do with how Fox News talked about him. I’ve long maintained that Pop is the biggest magnet for LeBron out there. He’s never had a coach like him, or been part of an organization that has proven that it can create stars instead of signing them.

Kawhi Leonard has been an intriguing subplot in an otherwise entertaining NBA season, but most of the “reports” are purely hyperbole. Aren’t they all these days? Leonard has reaffirmed recently that he wants to be a Spur for life, and if you’re in to reading between the lines, that could be seen as a gesture to LeBron that the best two-way player in the league is going to be there if he wants to join.

The pieces for San Antonio’s future are already in place, and all the intricacies of the way the franchise operates resonate with what brought LeBron to South Beach so many years ago. That’s the kind of stuff he responds to, which is why the Spurs represent a decent play in this NBA specials market if you have some spare change lying around.

Where will LeBron Play 1st Game in 2018-19 - Odds per Atlanta Hawks +10000
Boston Celtics +3300
Brooklyn Nets +10000
Charlotte Hornets +5000
Chicago Bulls +3300
Cleveland Cavaliers +250
Dallas Mavericks +3300
Denver Nuggets +2500
Detroit Pistons +1200
Golden State Warriors +1000
Houston Rockets +250
Indiana Pacers +5000
Los Angeles Clippers +5000
Los Angeles Lakers +400
Memphis Grizzlies +5000
Miami Heat +3300
Milwaukee Bucks +1200
Minnesota Timberwolves +2500
New Orleans Pelicans +5000
New York Knicks +1600
Oklahoma City Thunder +2500
Orlando Magic +10000
Philadelphia 76ers +500
Phoenix Suns +10000
Portland Trail Blazers +3300
Sacramento Kings +10000
San Antonio Spurs +2000
Toronto Raptors +2500
Utah Jazz +3300
Washington Wizards +5000

Odds Subject to Change

· Mejia: Monday's Essentials
· Akins: Hoop Trends - Monday
· BetDSI: Monday's Top Action
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· News: Win Total Betting Update
· Former Knicks player Cal Ramsey dies
· NBA playoff races are winding down
· Bulls shut down Carter Jr., Hutchison
· Kushner purchases minority stake in Grizz
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