Tue, Jul 3, 11:43am by Head Editor
The world’s most famous basketballer, LeBron James, is on the move, with the 3-time NBA Finals MVP signing a four year, $208 million (AUD) contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After opting out of the final year of his contract in Cleveland over the weekend, the Lakers secured the services of the best all-round player in the league ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets.
It is the second time that the Ohio native has left his hometown club, but fans are expected to be a little bit more forgiving this time around, after King James ended the city’s 52-year championship drought in 2016.
The news has sent the betting markets into meltdown, with the Lakers coming in from $10 to $5 to win their first NBA Championship since 2010.
Sportsbet’s Will Byrne said “The NBA market went into overdrive when news of LeBron’s signing was leaked. The Lakers are now the second best backed team and we expect support to continue now they have the four-time MVP on the roster.”
Interestingly, the odds for Lebron to secure his fifth MVP award were also slashed yesterday, with the 33-year old now the $4.50 favourite ahead of Milwaukee Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo and New Orleans Pelican Anthony Davis.
President of Basketball Operations at the LA Lakers and also one of the greatest players of all time, Magic Johnson, reportedly played a huge role in getting James to move west.
It was reported on several news services that Magic showed up at James’ house the minute that free agency began and started the process of getting the sport’s biggest name to come to one of the most recognisable franchises in world sport.
The Lakers may have landed the biggest fish in the free agency market but they are not done yet. The club announced hours after the LeBron deal was done that Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson had also joined the squad and with names like Kawhi Leonard and Karl-Anthony Towns remaining on the table, there could be even more talent heading to LA.
Golden State Warriors $2.10
Los Angeles Lakers $5
Boston Celtics $6.50
Houston Rockets $6.50
Philadelphia 76ers $14
Oklahoma City Thunder $41
Utah Jazz $41
Minnesota Timberwolves $51
Toronto Raptors $51
San Antonio Spurs $51
Regular Season MVP
LeBron James $4.50
Anthony Davis $5
Giannis Antetokounmpo $5
James Harden $6.50
Kevin Durant $12
Kawhi Leonard $13.50
Stephen Curry $14.50
Russell Westbrook $17
Joel Embiid $23
Kyrie Irving $31
Ben Simmons $34
Karl-Anthony Towns $51
*Others Quoted in both markets
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