LeBron James Next Team Odds: Stephen Curry pairing in future?

May 2, 2024 - 5:04 PM
Apr 9, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Draymond Green (23) in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

It’s extremely rare that the status of a 39-year-old is the tip of the iceberg for any sport’s offseason.

However, that’s what the Los Angeles Lakers — and the NBA — are facing with the uncertain future of LeBron James.

James could choose to become a free agent, or he could decide to pick up his $51.4 million player option for the final year of his current contract. He could even opt to retire.

James declined to address his future following the Lakers’ first-round exit, offering only that, “I haven’t given it much thought,” and his priority was returning home to spend time with his family.

The playoffs will go on without the Lakers and James, but what his future plans are will continue to dominate the pending offseason debate.

One sportsbook opened odds on all 29 potential destinations should James decide to part with the Lakers. The early favorite is the team facing arguably the second most impactful offseason questions.

Will the Golden State Warriors bring back Klay Thompson, or is this the end of the “Splash Brothers” era? And as they try to position themselves for another title run with Stephen Curry on the backside of his prime, could a pairing with King James be in the offing?

The other leading candidates are a third stint with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, or perhaps becoming the piece that helps launch the New York Knicks into a true title contender.

LeBron James Next Team Odds*

Golden State Warriors (4/1)

Cleveland Cavaliers (5/1)

New York Knicks (6/1)

Chicago Bulls (7/1)

Philadelphia 76ers (8/1)

Miami Heat (9/1)

Orlando Magic (12/1)

San Antonio Spurs (14/1)

Dallas Mavericks (18/1)

LA Clippers (18/1)

Brooklyn Nets (22/1)

Sacramento Kings (28/1)

Atlanta Hawks (33/1)

Houston Rockets (33/1)

New Orleans Pelicans (33/1)

Milwaukee Bucks (40/1)

Phoenix Suns (40/1)

Minnesota Timberwolves (45/1)

Toronto Raptors (45/1)

Memphis Grizzlies (50/1)

Washington Wizards (50/1)

Charlotte Hornets (66/1)

Detroit Pistons (66/1)

Indiana Pacers (66/1)

Oklahoma City Thunder (66/1)

Boston Celtics (75/1)

Denver Nuggets (75/1)

Portland Trail Blazers (75/1)

Utah Jazz (75/1)

*SportsBetting.ag. Odds provided for information purposes only.

The Lakers won the inaugural in-season tournament, beating the Indiana Pacers 123-109 in the final at Las Vegas on Dec. 9. James was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

If he decides to come back, James’ choice is whether to hit free agency or to pick up a $51.4 million player option for the last year of his deal with the Lakers.

James just completed his 21st NBA season, which included his 20th consecutive All-Star Game selection. He is a four-time NBA champion, a four-time NBA Finals MVP and a four-time regular-season MVP.

On Monday against the Denver Nuggets, James amassed 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. That ended a campaign in which he averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds in the regular season, then 27.8 points, 8.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds in the Lakers’ five playoff games.

Asked about taking any confidence moving forward from the Lakers pushing the defending champion Nuggets in the series that went five games, James said, “No, ’cause we lost. … I’m not a ‘participation’ guy. We lost and you move on and see how you can get better.

“Our season has been derailed all season with … injuries and guys in and out. I talked about it all year. … It’s hard to say who we are, what we can be ’cause we have yet to be whole. I think we were only probably whole one or two times this year. I know one of them was during the in-season tournament, we got whole and we showed what we (are) capable of doing.

“But we were just hit with injuries after injuries after injuries, and it’s just hard to come back from that.”

— Field Level Media