Bovada offered updated odds after Thursday night’s draft, showing that the Cavaliers are currently second in the running behind the Los Angeles Lakers:
Updated odds for which team LeBron James will be on for the first game of 2018-19 NBA season (Bovada):
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) June 22, 2018
The Lakers are considered to be the favorites because of their salary-cap flexibility and the fact that James owns two mansions in the Los Angeles area. That flexibility could entice James because Los Angeles would still be able to sign another major free agent like Oklahoma City’s Paul George. In addition, the Lakers are seeking to trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, a deal that could potentially turn the Lakers into immediate contenders for the NBA title.
Of course, the Cavaliers offer James the chance to stay in the area where he grew up and owns another mansion in suburban Akron. Maintaining the current situation would also allow James to avoid having to uproot his family and move elsewhere. One of the ways in which the Cavs are helping themselves in this competition is by making a concerted effort to upgrade the team’s roster. On Thursday night, they drafted University of Alabama guard Collin Sexton with the eighth overall pick in the draft.
The other seven teams on the above list apparently have a much steeper challenge in front of them, with James’ former team, the Miami Heat, on the bottom of the pile. The reality is that until James actually makes his choice, such odds are just fun speculation.