LeBron James Trade Rumors: Odds of LeBron Leaving The Lakers

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Editor's Note: This story updated May 2, 2024.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the looming NBA offseason, with possible Ohio sports betting implications, is whether 39-year-old superstar LeBron James will opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. James could opt for free agency, as the league’s all-time leading scorer has a player option on his contract.

James, who turns 40 on Dec. 30, is due $51.4 million in 2024-25 should he opt to remain with the Lakers. But the Akron native could walk away after the season, or he could exercise his player option and enter unrestricted free agency as a 41-year-old in 2025.

So BetOhio.com compiled some hypothetical odds on which team James will suit up for next season. Turn to BetOhio.com for the best Ohio sports betting promo codes.

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LeBron James Trade Odds



Percent Chance

Stay with Lakers 



Cleveland Cavaliers



Golden State Warriors



Philadelphia 76ers



Dallas Mavericks



San Antonio Spurs



The Field



The Lakers are the dominant favorite to keep the star on the Crypto.com Arena hardwood this fall. No one outside of James’ camp likely knows what the future Hall of Famer will do this summer, but we can say that the odds of the legendary forward leaving Tinseltown after NBA free agency opens this summer are slim. We rate the Lakers as a -225 favorite. These odds were prepared exclusively for BetOhio.com and are not part of any Ohio sportsbook apps.

Where Will LeBron James Go Next?

The Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in five games, with the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets finishing L.A. in the first round with a 108-106 victory on Monday in Denver.

James could opt out of his deal prior to the June 29 deadline. But it’s hard to project these things this close to the end of the Lakers’ season, which is why we’re putting L.A. as our top team for the superstar’s outsized talents.

Should James depart L.A., keep an eye on his (two-time) former club, the one that’s also his hometown team.

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Could Another Return To Cavs Be Pending?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have quietly become a contender under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff – see our Cleveland Cavaliers odds as they play in a first-round series against the Orlando Magic. The Cavs won 99 games over the past two years (they were 48-34 this season) and featuring a youthful core full of talented players like Donovan Mitchell, who posted a team high 3.9 VORP (value over replacement player, according to basketball-reference.com) in 55 games this year.

Throw in players like Jarrett Allen (3.1 VORP in 77 games) and Evan Mobley (1.9 VORP in 50 games) and Cleveland would have some talented players to complement James if he chose to come back to the Cavs for a third stint with the team. BetMGM Ohio Sportsbook has +4000 odds on the Cavs to win this season’s title. James averaged 25.7 points and 7.3 rebounds a game this season, compiling a 5.4 VORP in 71 games.

That collection of solid players and James’ propensity for his home state team are among the reasons why we have the Cavs listed at +1000 to land LeBron this offseason. Cleveland is ahead of the Golden State Warriors (+2000), Dallas Mavericks (+3000), Philadelphia 76ers (+3000) and San Antonio Spurs (+4000) on our list. The field has +1100 odds in the LBJ sweepstakes.

One way or another, some lucky NBA franchise is going to land one of (if not the) greatest players in league history. One wild card, of course, is that James hopes to play alongside his oldest son (Bronny), who played at USC last season. Bronny James has entered the transfer portal and is also considering this summer’s NBA Draft.

Caesars Ohio Sportsbook has the Boston Celtics as the current favorite to win the 2024 NBA title with +125 odds.

USA Today photo by Isaiah J. Downing


Christopher Boan writes for BetOhio.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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