LeBron James may have narrowed his decision on where he will play in the NBA next season down to two teams: the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is the opinion of Max Kellerman of ESPN. He opined on First Take this week that James tipped some cards in his hand when the King said he was no longer welcoming sales pitches from NBA teams.
To Kellerman, that meant that James was settling on an answer to the question of where he will play next year.
Kellerman further argued that teams in the mix that are shaky in terms of where they are at or where they are going are teams that would, in fact, need to pitch to James to convince him to sign. At the end of it, he saw Cleveland and the LA Lakers as the only teams that stood out, an opinion that Stephen A. Smith expressed agreement with.
For betting purposes, if you look at Los Angeles and Cleveland without other teams in NBA outrights then the former are huge favorites for the NBA title relative to the latter. The Lakers are +700 with 5Dimes‘s Ante Post, while the Cavaliers are +2500.
As enticing as +2500 would be on a Cleveland team that actually had LeBron, the Cavs might easily drift to +4900 or longer in a heartbeat if he leaves. With Tyrone Lue at the helm still next season, Cleveland could easily be heading toward a lottery pick. In fact, it might be smart management to head that way and rebuild if LeBron leaves.
In short, a bet on Cleveland might be a bet on a team with no will to win next season. A bet on Los Angeles at $8.00 probably shortens a little with LeBron. However, there’s still the in-conference rivals to worry about in Golden State and Houston.
Last week, we looked at the situation and felt that the Boston Celtics were the odds-dependent pick. However, the odds on the C’s have shortened in the last week (ie. Betway went from +700 to +550).
Now, you have to go with the Lakers following LeBron’s statement that suggests that the Lakers are a likely landing spot. Having both Los Angeles and Boston at +700 certainly is not a bad spot to be in if you took the odds on the Celtics that were previously tipped.
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