While almost everybody in the sports media seems to have an
opinion on where top NBA free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will land
this week, the speculation has also impacted NBA future odds at sportsbooks in
Las Vegas. Depending on who you believe, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as
serious suitors for Anthony's services, and the LVH SuperBook and William Hill
sportsbooks have taken notice. One of them is just taking the rumors a little
more seriously than the other.
Click here to view the latest NBA future odds from LVH SuperBook.
The SuperBook dropped LA's odds to win the 2015 NBA
Championship down to 40/1 from 50/1 last week compared to William Hill, which
has the Lakers at 25/1. Similarly, the SuperBook has the Cleveland Cavaliers at
30/1 now after opening them at 60/1 with William Hill sitting at 20/1.
If you have looked at ESPN.com today, you have probably
already seen the report about the Cavs making a strong pitch for James to
return to the Cavs, where he started his career before spurning them for greener
pastures in South Beach with the Miami Heat four years ago. The team website
even pulled the infamous letter Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wrote about him in
hopes of luring him back.
Anthony's status is also yet to be determined, with the
Lakers, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls among the frontrunners. The Knicks
can give him a max contract of $129 million over five years compared to LA's offer
of $97 million over four years while the Bulls would likely need to work a
sign-and-trade deal with New York in order to acquire Anthony. In addition, all
three teams are chasing free agent big man Pau Gasol, who would be a nice
complement for any of them alongside Anthony in the frontcourt.
Oddsmaker Jeff Sherman from the SuperBook said the Lakers
would likely drop to 15/1 if they could re-sign Gasol and ink Anthony, who
would move them to 20/1 if he solely joined Kobe Bryant in LA. Sherman also
said the Cavs would fall to 8/1 if James returned.
The Houston Rockets are another interesting team to watch,
as they are making a run at another member of Miami's "Big Three" in Chris Bosh
with Anthony reportedly leaning elsewhere after visiting with the team last
week. Sherman said adding Bosh would drop Houston from 16/1 to 12/1.
And what if Chicago strikes out again like the team did four
years ago when James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade all visited before deciding to sign together
with the Heat? The Bulls would move from 7/1 back up to 12/1 where they opened
at the SuperBook. Chicago should be improved next season regardless of what
happens during free agency with point guard Derrick Rose returning from another
knee surgery and strong draft picks that include former Creighton star Doug
McDermott and Spanish star Nikola Mirotic, who was selected in 2011 and is expected to join the team after playing for Real Madrid.
Please note: Since this article was posted early Monday, the Cavs have dropped to 12/1 to win the 2015 NBA Championship at the SuperBook and 15/1 at William Hill. Keep in mind, odds are always subject to change.