LeBron James almost certainly will play for the Los Angeles Lakers next season.
That said, at least one sportsbook is offering options for potential destinations should James someway, somehow find himself leaving LA for another NBA franchise.
Bovada released odds on where James will begin the 2022-23 season, and as you’d expect, the Lakers sat atop the betting board as of Wednesday night at -3500.
Next in line: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, both at +1000.
Here are the full odds listed by Bovada:
Los Angeles Lakers -3500
Cleveland Cavaliers +1000
Golden State Warriors +1000
Dallas Mavericks +1800
Phoenix Suns +2000
Los Angeles Clippers +2500
Miami Heat +2500
Denver Nuggets +3000
Oklahoma City Thunder +5000
Charlotte Hornets +5000
Obviously, those long odds speak to how unlikely it is that James leaves the Lakers this offseason. The 37-year-old is under contract for 2022-23, and while there are serious questions facing the Lakers after a disappointing campaign, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Los Angeles trades the 18-time All-Star.
It’s more likely the Lakers keep James in the hopes of extending his contract beyond next season. And if LA struggles again, then maybe the conversation shifts if/when he reaches free agency. Or maybe he sticks with the Lakers on a series of one-year deals until his son, Bronny, enters the league.
Nevertheless, it’s interesting, albeit not surprising, to see the Cavaliers and Warriors listed with the shortest odds beyond the Lakers. James, of course, already had two stints with Cleveland — sandwiched around a four-year run with the Miami Heat — and Golden State faced him and the Cavs in the NBA Finals four straight years from 2015 to 2018.