LeBron James Decision 2.0 Controlling Las Vegas NBA Futures
Posted on: June 29, 2018, 09:00h.
Last updated on: June 29, 2018, 07:19h.
Where is LeBron James going to take his talents next? It’s the question on every NBA fan and analysts’ mind, as well as oddsmakers in Las Vegas.
The Decision 2.0 could be revealed as early as Friday, June 29. James has until midnight to notify the Cleveland Cavaliers as to whether he’s opting out of the final year of his contract to pursue free agency. Should he do that, as expected, that doesn’t mean his days in Cleveland are over.
Since LeBron would be opting out of his contract, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreements allows only the Cavs to offer James a new five-year max deal worth 35 percent of the salary cap, plus eight percent annual raises. The league’s other teams can only off a four-year max deal with five percent annual raises.
Rumors are flooding sports media sites with where the 33-year-old LeBron is leaning. And with the best player on the planet’s whereabouts for the 2018-19 NBA season unknown, setting odds on the NBA Finals is a difficult undertaking.
NBA Title Odds
The Westgate SuperBook currently has the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors at even money. They’re followed by the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics at 4/1.
The Los Angeles Lakers are next at 8/1, then it’s the Cavaliers (12/1) and Philadelphia 76ers (14/1).
All the odds except the Warriors and Celtics have a potential LeBron signing factored in. Golden State and Boston aren’t thought to be in any serious discussion to land James.
SuperBook Odds Without LeBron:
SuperBook Race and Sports Director John Murray tells ESPN he believes James is going to the Lakers. If he does, he says the Westgate will cut the Lakers’ futures to 6/1. If LA signs both James and Paul George, the line will shorten to 5/1.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith revealed this week that a source told him James actually sent a text message to Warriors star Kevin Durant after the NBA Finals to feel out his interest in playing together in Los Angeles.
Nevada doesn’t permit its sportsbooks to take bets on where James will end up. But online casinos are doing just that.
Internet oddsmakers agree with Murray that James is ready to take his talents to the City of Angels. The Lakers are at -155 to snag the 3x NBA champion and 4x NBA MVP. That implies a 61 percent LeBron dons the gold and purple next season.
However, James said following his Cavs’ Finals loss that the decision will be dependent on his family. As for his two boys, LeBron said “they were a lot younger” when he decided to return from Miami to Cleveland.
My family is a huge part of whatever I’ve decided to do … and they’ll continue to be that,” James concluded.
The Cavs have the second-best odds of having him play in their jersey next year at 2/1 (implied odds 33.3 percent). Philly is third at 11/2.
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