With reports that some in the Lakers’ organization have pushed to trade him, new odds were offered on possible destinations for the future Hall of Famer.
With all the turmoil in Laker Land, the Knicks and Clippers are only +700 to add LeBron James next season while the Cavs and Heat are not far off. The Lakers remain the favorites. pic.twitter.com/ubPolG74W9
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 9, 2019
James’ first season with the Lakers began with promise, but soon fell apart because of injuries to the 34-year-old veteran that limited him to 55 games. That absence and other matters resulted in the Lakers missing the playoffs and led to the departure of both the team’s head coach, Luke Walton, and president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson.
The possibility of James even being dealt is open to debate, which explains why the Lakers are given the best odds. The fact that the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers have the next best odds are likely for two different reasons that require some more analysis.
The first is due to the fact that James has spoken before of his love of playing in Madison Square Garden, the longtime home of the Knicks. The second, with regard to the Clippers, is that it would offer James some stability by allowing him to stay in the same city and play in the same arena.
The chances of the Cavaliers and Miami Heat are connected to the fact that James played for both teams and helped win titles for each franchise. Of course, in the case of the Cavs, the fact that his hometown of Akron sits just 30 miles away is also a lure.
Finally, the long odds given to Chicago and Indiana stem from the fact that James has never publicly indicated any desire to join those teams. However, in the case of Chicago, it would allow him to play in the big-city atmosphere that he craves and also compete for the team where his idol, Michael Jordan, became a legend.
In the end, the expectation is that James will continue to wear a Lakers jersey next season and work with the team’s new head coach to get the team back to the postseason. That coach was expected to be former Cavs coach Tyronn Lue until contract negotiations broke down earlier this week.