- BetOnline has odds on LeBron James’ next team if the NBA legend leaves the Lakers
- The Knicks (+300) and 76ers (+300) are favored for the 38-year-old’s services
- Oddsmakers aren’t ruling out a third stop in Cleveland (+700) or a final stretch in Golden State (+900)
LeBron James floated retirement rumors after being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. While his two-year, $97 million contract extension with the Lakers hasn’t even kicked in yet, could the 38-year-old be trying to leave Los Angeles after another year without a championship?
LeBron James Next Team (IF not Lakers)
|New York Knicks||+300|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+500|
|Golden State Warriors||+900|
King James is not retiring
LeBron James scored 40 points in LA’s 113-111 loss to Denver in Game 4. Following the game, the 19-time NBA All Star said he’s going to consider “if I want to continue to play.” While everyone knows this is a standard-issue cry for attention from James, he’s also trying to pressure GM Rob Pelinka to bring in a third star.
According The Athletic, “there is a known preference” that the 38-year-old wants the club to bring in free-agent point guard Kyrie Irving. But, what if the Lakers refuse to free up cap space for the flat-earther? Will the four-time league MVP try to force his way on to a different franchise and give himself a better shot at a fifth NBA title?
“I’m still better than 90 percent of the NBA. Maybe 95.”
– LeBron James
(Via ESPN) pic.twitter.com/WFoVVb3zLV
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 23, 2023
Knicks and 76ers favored
The Knicks (+300) are run by James’ former agent Leon Rose. And, if LeBron seriously wants to be considered superior to Michael Jordan, bringing the city of New York its first title since 1973 would do the trick. However, it’s questionable if teaming up with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle will provide LBJ with any more support than he has now.
Philadelphia (+300) is enticing because of the presence of 2023 NBA MVP Joel Embiid. Yet, James Harden could be set to leave town as a free-agent and the 76ers don’t have a lot to offer the Lakers in a trade for LeBron.
Fun landing spots
The Clippers (+500) could offer up either of their oft-injured stars, Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, for James. But, it’s hard to say which franchise would be better off. And the Purple & Gold probably wouldn’t want to lose their biggest star to a team that plays in the same building.
LeBron brought Cleveland (+700) a championship back in 2016 before bolting to La La Land two years later. Could the boy from Akron, Ohio be plotting a third run in his home state? It at least seems more plausible than making a second-stop in Miami (+1000), where he won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
LeBron James pays his respects to Jim Brown. pic.twitter.com/DL81hkqMGi
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) May 19, 2023
In all likelihood, LeBron James will finish his career in Los Angeles and play at least another two years. However, since you will get your money back if he returns to the Lakers, we might as well take a big swing with Golden State (+900).
The Warriors have enough young assets to make a deal possible if King James decided to force his way to the Bay Area. And pairing LeBron with fellow four-time NBA champion Steph Curry would make for fascinating television.
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