The Los Angeles Lakers are Las Vegas’ favorite team this offseason. As we’ve mentioned before, they’re up there among the title favorites for next season, considered the favorites to land LeBron James and now, according to Bovada, are the odds-on favorite to land Kawhi Leonard.
With any other report of odds regarding the Lakers, I would be remiss not to mention how public a team the Lakers are. I had considered writing this article earlier today, and in that time the Lakers went from -200 to -140, a noticeable jump nonetheless, but considering the next highest team (the Boston Celtics) are listed at +350, Vegas seems to have quite a bit of confidence in Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s ability to get a deal done.
Boston’s movement in all this is really interesting. When all the trade rumors dropped, they opened at +1200 and made an insane leap to where they currently stand, leapfrogging the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kawhi’s own San Antonio Spurs in the process.
Danny Ainge has a treasure trove of assets to work with and is this close to being far-and-away the best team in the east. Yes, Leonard would be a one-year rental who needs to be convinced to stick around beyond this season if acquired, but bettors seem to think the Celtics would consider the potential payoff well worth the gamble.
Gauging the likelihood of anything happening based on Vegas odds is always an iffy proposition at-best, but it is noteworthy to keep an eye on trends. Yes, Leonard seems to prefer the Lakers and has for a while according to several reports, but teams usually aren’t in the business of doing star players favors regarding their preferred destination (especially when said destination is the Lakers) and the Celtics have enough assets to top just about any potential offer.
The Lakers have every reason to make a deal, which is reflected by Vegas’ odds here, but Boston is most certainly very capable of topping their offer if they want to.