Sportsbook Favors LeBron to Stay With the Lakers Next Season

Lebron James With Cavaliers And Lakers Background

  • Online sportsbook Bovada says that LeBron James is a heavy -3500 favorite to play Game 1 of the 2022-23 NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are next at +1000.
  • James is under contract with the Lakers until the end of the next season but with the Lakers’ struggles this year, there are speculations that he could be on the move.

With the Los Angeles missing the 2022 NBA playoffs by a mile, it’s time to speculate where LeBron James will be playing next season.

Winning or not winning has been the barometer of James’ tenure with a team. When he could not win a title with the Cavaliers, he signed with the Miami Heat to form a super team. When the Heat started their decline, he returned to Cleveland. Then he left the Cavs a second time to play for the Lakers. But with the Lakers likely stuck with an oft-injured Anthony Davis and a struggling Russell Westbrook, James could be on the move.

Willing to Leave the Lakers to Play With Bronny

According to online sportsbook Bovada, LeBron is a -3500 betting favorite to play Game 1 of the 2022-23 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. James’ current contract has him tied up to the Lakers until the end of the next season, which is why he is a heavy favorite to stay in L.A. Although James has changed teams before, he’s always done so after playing out his contracts and if that’s still LBJ’s line of thinking, he will finish his contract in Los Angeles.

Last February, it was reported that LeBron was willing to leave the Lakers for a chance to play with his son, Bronny. However, with Bronny not eligible for the NBA Draft until 2024, James may not want to leave for another city, then leave again for the team that picks his son in the 2024 NBA Draft. That also means that he’s likely staying in L.A. until he knows where Bronny is headed.

James is eligible to sign a two-year $97.1 million extension with the Lakers this offseason. That’s another story. While James is favored to play the 2022-23 campaign with the Lakers, James refused to talk about re-signing with the Lakers citing the league’s CBA as the reason. But then again James may have other plans.

Door is not Closed in Cleveland

Last February, James was asked about the possibility of returning to Cleveland to finish his career. he replied that the “door is not closed on that”. Sure, James has left the Cavaliers twice before but in the end, he is an Akron native and the best player to ever suit up for that franchise. We’ve seen too many NBA stars finish their career either with their hometown team or with the team they began their NBA careers with. It would be both if LeBron finishes his Hall of Fame career with the Cavs.

That’s why it wasn’t a surprise when Bovada had the Cavaliers second in the LeBron odds board at +1000. But the Cavs are not alone at that spot as the Golden State Warriors are also listed at +1000. Sure LeBron played in four and lost in three NBA Finals against the Warriors but in a recent interview, James was asked who among the NBA’s current stars he wants to play most, and he said “Steph Curry”. The Warriors got Kevin Durant before. Why not LeBron next season?

The Dallas Mavericks are third on the list at +1800 with James mentioning Luka Doncic after Steph Curry. The Phoenix Suns are next at +2000 while the Miami Heat and L.A. Clippers follow at +2500. Denver, Oklahoma City, and Charlotte complete the odds board at +3000, +5000, and +5000, respectively. But of course, these other teams are just fillers. The main protagonists in the story are the Lakers, Cavs, and Warriors.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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