LeBron James Next Team Odds: Will Lakers Mega-Star Stay Put in L.A.?

LeBron James is at a career crossroads, not only potentially entering his final NBA contract, but with the possibility of playing alongside his son, Bronny. See where the NBA odds for LeBron's next team see him landing.

Senior Betting Analyst
May 7, 2024 • 15:45 ET • 4 min read
LeBron James NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James next team odds will loom ominously over this NBA offseason.

At 39 years old, most NBA players are long retired and talking trash about their former teammates in documentaries and podcasts.

Some guys have been able to hang on as they flirt with the big “Four-Oh”, but the output declines, and you almost feel bad as you watch their minutes dwindle.

And then there’s LeBron.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer is arguably still a Top-5 player in the NBA today, averaging 25.7/8.3/7.3 this past season. James will turn 40 in December, and that birthday party’s location is one of the biggest stories of the NBA offseason.

The King could be a free agent this summer, which means NBA odds on LeBron James’ next team are showing up at sportsbooks across the globe. Here’s where the bookies think “The Chosen One” will play in the 2024-25 NBA season.

LeBron James next team odds

The Lakers are heavy favorites to hold onto LeBron, who holds a player option on his current contract with them for the 2024-25 season. 

Team FanDuel
Lakers Los Angeles Lakers -320
Cavs Cleveland Cavaliers +1,300
Heat Miami Heat +1,300
Knicks New York Knicks +1,300
Warriors Golden State Warriors +1500
Hawks Atlanta Hawks +1,900
Bulls Chicago Bulls +1,900
76ers Philadelphia 76ers +2,000
Mavericks Dallas Mavericks +2,600
Clippers Los Angeles Clippers +2,600

Odds as of 5-1-2024.

Favorites to be LeBron James' next team

Los Angeles Lakers -320 (76.19% chance)

LeBron James staying with the Lakers is the frontrunner in the “next team” odds at FanDuel, despite the first-round belly flop in this year’s playoffs.

LeBron was non-committal when asked about his future in L.A. following that postseason defeat, telling reporters he plans to spend time away from basketball with family.

Rumblings from NBA insiders say the Lakers are floating a $164 million, three-year deal and would sweeten the pot by drafting James’ son in the 2024 NBA Draft. Bronny James is coming off a quiet freshman season at USC following a heart scare and is currently forecasted to go undrafted.

The Lakers, for all their foibles, are still a contending team (at least with James) and ran neck-and-neck with the defending champion Denver Nuggets in Round 1, but just couldn’t get over the hump. Jeanie Buss has her work cut out for her to keep L.A. in conversation.

Cleveland Cavaliers +1,300 (7.14% chance)

Another homecoming could be in the cards for James, who would need to opt out of his contract with L.A. to head elsewhere.

Cleveland is a cusp contender in the Eastern Conference with a young and talented core, but do the Cavaliers want to mortgage their future for a 40-year-old LeBron? The road to the NBA Finals may be a little smoother in the East, but Bron would have to go through Boston to add ring No. 6.

Miami Heat +1,300 (7.14% chance)

Sun, surf, and soft taxes. James loves playing for Erik Spoelstra but the Heat don’t have much wiggle room in the wallet, so a sign-and-trade with the Lakers may be the only way to bring back LeBron for a second run in South Beach. That won’t leave much of a support staff around James, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo.

New York Knicks +1,300 (7.14% Chance)

Blow the dust off that awful “Sopranos” recruiting film the Knicks used to woo James back in 2010. The Knicks have a slim shot at landing LeBron next season, surrounding him with a solid roster and a defense-first head coach in Tom Thibodeau.

It’s frickin’ New York of all places, and getting the Knicks their first NBA title since 1973 would be a huge feather in the cap of James’ legacy. They’d put Nikes on the Statue of Liberty if he pulled that off.

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Golden State Warriors +1,500 (6.25% chance)

The Warriors would jump right back into the title hunt with James, but according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Golden State’s focus this offseason isn’t LeBron. The Dubs did kick the tires on a possible trade for James this past winter but were shot down.

It would be an ultimate “can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” scenario for James, who lost to the Warriors in three of their four finals matchups. Golden State is strapped for cash with big veteran deals on the books, so the Dubs would need to send the Lakers a lot and possibly commit to burning their lone draft pick on Bronny.

Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls +1,900 (5% chance), Philadelphia 76ers +2,000 (4.76% chance)

Of the three franchises priced at 19/1 or 20/1 to be LeBron’s next team, the Sixers are the only one currently in contention for an NBA title and providing the support James would need to survive a season and get to the playoffs. 

LeBron would be a natural fit alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Philly has cap room aplenty to either sign LeBron outright or swing a sign-and-trade, and has draft capital from the James Harden departure, which could help the 76ers wheel-and-deal for support talent. Nick Nurse was able to win a title in Toronto with Kawhi Leonard, so why not one with LeBron?

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