LeBron James has three years remaining on his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but turmoil in Tinseltown has led to speculation that he could be traded, and one sportsbook has given the Knicks pretty good odds to be the team that James is playing for next season.
According to the Bovada Sportsbook, LeBron is most likely to play for Los Angeles next year, with a new prop bet putting the Lakers at -600 to employ James when the 2019-2020 season tips off. Next in line? The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, both at +700. Thus, if you were to bet $100 on the Knicks landing LeBron this summer, and then the Lakers did the unthinkable and actually shipped James to the Knicks, your winnings would total $700. That may be enough to buy a single ticket for one Knicks game next season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat are next most likely to land LeBron, with Bovada putting both at +1000, and the list rounds out with the Chicago Bulls at +1500 and the Indiana Pacers are +1800.
The first person to shine the light on these LeBron odds was Adam Zagoria over at Forbes, who noted that another sportsbook says the Knicks are also frontrunners to land Kyrie Irving, who was recently eliminated from the playoffs. Kyrie and LeBron on one team! Can you even imagine?
On its face, the idea of the Lakers trading LeBron only one season after he took his talents to Los Angeles seems almost as ludicrous as Ludacris becoming a major acting star after first rising to stardom in the rap game with songs like “Move Bitch” and “Pimpin’ All Over The World.” But look at Luda’s IMDB page.
Considering what’s been going on with the Lakers, nothing is outside the realm of possibility. There’s Magic Johnson’s disappearing act, the failed efforts to trade every single youngster on the roster for Anthony Davis, and the broken contract negotiations with LeBron’s former coach, Tyronn Lue. Meanwhile, LeBron doesn’t even have a no-trade clause. Sounds like he could have learned a thing or two about negotiating from his buddy Carmelo Anthony.
There’s no question that LeBron is one of the best players of all time. He’s not Michael Jordan, but he’s one of the next best things, if we’re being honest. However, he’s approaching year 17 of his NBA career. Should the Knicks even want him at this juncture?
The answer, as Vince Vaughn coughed out in the above clip, should be no. First of all, who would the Lakers want in return? Chances are that any package would have to include either the Knicks first round pick this year, Mitchell Robinson, or both, plus more.
Additionally, James played only 55 games last year due in part to a pesky groin, representing the first time in 16 seasons that he has failed to play at least 60 games. While he put up his usual impressive numbers (27.4 points on 51% shooting, 7.4 rebounds and 8.5 assists), James is entering his 17th season. Guess how many NBA seasons Patrick Ewing played before he retired? The answer is 17.
Of course, since LeBron joined the NBA straight out of high school, he is still only 34, turning 35 in December. That’s not crazy old, but it’s not young, and if LeBron can barely beat most NBA teams by himself at this point in his career, what are the chances he’s going to be able to defeat Father Time?
Let’s get some prop bets on that, Bovada.