Even in the aftermath of a fantastic and historic run by the Golden State Warriors in claiming three titles over a four-year period, it wouldn’t be difficult to make the case that the pending free agency of LeBron James is the biggest story in the NBA. The league will hold its collective breath for the next few weeks and, for a brief time, buzz surrounding the upcoming draft will take over the consciousness. However, James’ decision looms over everything and, as of Monday, an online bookmaker is asserting that the Los Angeles Lakers are now the favorites to acquire the best player in the universe.
Bovada.lv released updated odds under the question of “What team will LeBron James play for Game 1 of the 2018-2019 Season?” and the Lakers take the top spot at 7/4. They are closely followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (11/5) and Houston Rockets (5/2), with James’ current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, landing in the No. 4 spot at 5/1.
There is nothing overly stunning about this revelation, simply because the Lakers are arguably the league’s flagship franchise and, perhaps more importantly, have the capital to bring another superstar to the table alongside James. Add in the recent speculation from the likes of Dwyane Wade that James’ decision is less about basketball and more about family and comfort, and the Lakers make plenty of sense. Still, it would be much easier to argue for the Sixers and Rockets as ready-made situations to compete at the highest level and, of course, James has proven that he can punch a ticket to the NBA Finals on an annual basis while remaining in Cleveland.