LeBron James signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension last September through the 2024-25 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but sportsbooks have now released his next team odds for when and if the 19-time All-Star decides to ask for a trade this offseason. Check out the next team odds below.
According to the BetOnline sportsbook, the Philadelphia 76ers (+300) are the betting favorites to land the 20-year veteran, followed by the New York Knicks (+350), Los Angeles Clippers (+500), and Cleveland Cavaliers (+700). James wants to play on an NBA team with Bronny, his 18-year-old son, in the near future.
LeBron James Next Team Odds If Not Lakers In 2023 NBA Offseason: 76ers Are No. 1 Favorites
Philadelphia 76ers (+300)
First off, the Philadelphia 76ers would become an even better team with LeBron James. But this is assuming that both James Harden and Joel Embiid remain in the City of Brotherly Love. If Sixers president Daryl Morey trades away either superstar, adding the four-time Finals MVP will not matter as much.
More importantly, Harden is expected to decline his $35.64 million player option with Philadelphia for the 2023-24 season. The Houston Rockets are the favorites to sign Harden in the coming months. However, Harden could sign a max deal to stay in Philly.
For the bottom line, LeBron James prefers to stay on the west coast. He lives in Los Angeles with his family, and it would make little sense for him to move to the east coast at this point of his playing career. If the 76ers end up drafting Bronny, only then would James consider such a move.
New York Knicks (+350)
Next, the New York Knicks have second-shortest odds of landing LeBron James this offseason. Unfortunately, the four-time NBA champ has no ties to the Empire State. It would be entertaining to see James play alongside Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett.
But would James ever consider playing in the Big Apple? Former Knicks player Charles Oakley addressed his negative relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan and why LeBron would never play in New York in his book titled “The Last Enforcer.”
“You would have thought I did something to his wife,” Oakley wrote. “S—t, Latrell Sprewell, who played five seasons with the Knicks, cursed at Dolan in front of Dolan’s wife when he returned to face the Knicks back in 2003, and they still became friends. I didn’t do anything to this man.
“What did I ever say that was so bad that he would ignore me like that? I wondered. Man, I wanted to hit him in the head. I walked back to LeBron and said, ‘This motherf—ker [Dolan] wouldn’t shake my hand.’ All LeBron said was: ‘This is why I’m never going to New York.’”
Los Angeles Clippers (+500)
Lastly, the Los Angeles Clippers would be an ideal team for LeBron James. He wouldn’t have to move, the Clippers finished 44-38 in the 2022-23 season with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and James has already played under head coach Tyronn Lue during his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. There are a few connections here.
Nevertheless, to address the elephant in the room, would the six-time All-Defensive member want to play with Russell Westbrook again? Much is unknown on why the Lakers’ experiment failed with Westbrook. Offensively, the triple-double king has not been the same player since the Washington Wizards traded him in the 2021 offseason.
It would seem the two-time scoring champ thrives on teams that have only one other superstar. Age is a factor, but then again, LeBron James turns 39 this year as well. Team chemistry is more important. Perhaps James could turn to the Clippers as a last resort if all else fails with the Lakers. The Clippers are the most realistic landing spot.