LeBron, Lakers Change NBA Title Odds
Now that LeBron James has signed with the L.A. Lakers, how much has the 2018-2019 NBA Championship odds shifted? As you can imagine, quite a bit. Here's a look at the updated championship odds for next season in the NBA.
The Golden State Warriors remain the favorites to win the 2018-2019 NBA Championship at 13/10. Kevin Durant and the Warriors agreed recently to a two-year, $61.5 million deal with a player option for the 2019-20 season. Durant could opt out next year and join another team but for now, he ensures that the Warriors will have an opportunity to repeat as title champs for the third consecutive season.
The Next Best
The Boston Celtics have the next-best odds at 3/1 to win next year's NBA title. If this seems odd to you with LeBron joining the Lakers, remember that the Celtics now have the easiest road in the Eastern Conference (no offense to the 76ers). Boston maintains that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are not available in trade talks but things could change if the Celtics have an opportunity to land Kawhi Leonard.
Where LeBron and the Lakers fall
Now that LeBron is headed to L.A., the Lakers are 9/2 to win next season's championship. James agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the team on Sunday night. The deal includes a player option for the fourth year and the length of the contract is still unexpected since he could have opted for another short-term pact to get his options open. Instead, he committed to the Lakers for at least three years. Now, will the Lakers give him another star player to play alongside? One would think yes, and it might not necessarily be Kawhi. It wouldn't be shocking to see the Lakers pull off a deal for another semi-star.
Also in the Mix
The Houston Rockets are 7/1 and the Philadelphia 76ers are 14/1 to win next year's title, but then the odds fall off a cliff. Houston and Chris Paul will sign a four-year, $160 million contract in what could be the thing that sets the Rockets back for years. A backcourt of Paul and Harden is potent but betting that the 33-year-old CP3 can produce at elite level through 2021-22 is a big risk. As for the Sixers, they didn't land LeBron but they still have one of the more talented young rosters in the league.
The Spurs are 50/1, the Thunder and Raptors are 60/1, respectively, while the Jazz are 80/1. The Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, Blazers and Wizards are all 100/1, respectively. The Heat and Suns are 300/1, respectively, followed by the now LeBron-less Cavs at 450/1. The Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Pistons and Kings are 500/1, respectively, while the Hawks, Grizzlies and Magic all have the longest odds at 1000/1, respectively.