Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles Lakers Rumors Further Shorten NBA Finals Odds

Posted on: July 2, 2019, 09:41h. 

Last updated on: July 2, 2019, 10:52h.

The Los Angeles Lakers might have missed the NBA Playoffs last season, but for the 2019-20 campaign, the team is the strong favorite to win the franchise’s 17th championship.

Los Angeles Lakers NBA odds LeBron
LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers are the favorites for the 2019-20 NBA Finals. (Image: Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports)

Led by LeBron James, the purple and gold received a major offseason assist by landing Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6’10” power forward agreed to waive a $4 million trade bonus to allow Los Angeles to have the salary cap room to sign another superstar.

Rumors say that’s Kawhi Leonard – the man who just led the Toronto Raptors to its first NBA title. As a result of the speculation, and pouring in of early money, Las Vegas oddsmakers are shortening futures on the team.

The Westgate SuperBook says it took a $10,000 bet on the Lakers winning it all. The team’s title odds are now at even money – meaning a $100 bet wins just $100 should they emerge victorious nearly a year from now.

The Milwaukee Bucks are second at 6/1, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (10/1), and Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, and Houston Rockets at 14/1.

The Brooklyn Nets, which scored both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, are at a distant 30/1. Durant is expected to miss the entire season recovering from his torn Achilles.

Early Money

Las Vegas oddsmakers say a bounty of money has come on the Lakers after the announcing of Davis joining James. DraftKings says it has taken more money and printed more tickets on LeBron & Co. than any other team in the league.

The SuperBook’s $10,000 bet was printed at 7/4. The bettor would net $17,500 on a Lakers title.

As for his willingness to forego the $4 million trade clause, Davis told the Los Angeles Times this week, “Money comes and goes; your legacy is forever. I think how you establish yourself in the NBA and what you do on and off the court is something that people will remember forever.”

Obviously, our money is public and people know what we make, but at the end of the day no one cares about how much money you make,” he concluded.

As a bit of an incentive, James is switching jerseys to No. 6 in order to allow Davis to don No. 23. “It was cool,” Davis said. “I didn’t get a chance to watch Michael Jordan live, but I watched LeBron a lot after he entered the league and he was the guy that I looked up to.”

Leonard Odds

The prized free agent remaining is of course Kawhi Leonard. Fox Sports NBA insider Chris Broussard tweeted recently, “Kawhi to Lakers rumblings getting stronger & stronger.”

Online sportsbook Bovada had been offering a line on which team Leonard will sign with, but has since removed the odds on the strong speculation that the Lakers are nearly a done deal.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said of Kawhi joining LeBron and Davis in La-La Land, “It would be a weak move. We have to be consistent. You can’t sit up there and look at KD (Durant) going to the Golden State Warriors and winning 73 wins and chasing the title and then ignore that with Kawhi Leonard.”