Kyle Terada- USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kevin Love (left) and JR Smith (right).
- The Cavaliers’ 2018-19 NBA title odds have dropped from 20-1 to 500-1 after LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The Cavs opened at 5-2 to win the title in the 2017-18 season.
- Outside of Kevin Love, there are question marks throughout their rotation, and they seem destined for a spot in the draft lottery.
Well, that didn’t take long. LeBron James made it official and inked a four-year, $153.3 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, confirming what many have speculated about for the better part of the past year.
The Lakers’ title odds have risen all the way to +350 with the news, and they may not be done adding pieces quite yet. They have the cap space to pursue free agent center DeMarcus Cousins and the young pieces to swing a trade for Kawhi Leonard. They’re shaping up to be one of the biggest threats to a Warriors three-peat in 2019.
The Cleveland Cavaliers sit at the other end of the spectrum. Their title odds dropped all the way to 500-1, tied with a host of perennial bottom feeders for worst in the league. The Cavs opened at +250 to win the title last season, which goes to show how much respect both Vegas and the public have for LeBron.
Losing LeBron marks the second year in a row that the Cavs have lost a superstar for virtually nothing — they essentially traded Kyrie Irving for Collin Sexton last summer — which leaves Cleveland with nothing but question marks.
Kevin Love has been a superstar in the past, averaging 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds in his final season with the Timberwolves, but that wasn’t enough to get them to the playoffs in a tough Western Conference. He averaged just under 52 DraftKings points per 36 minutes with both LeBron and Isaiah Thomas off the court this season, so he should be useful for fantasy purposes at the bare minimum.
The rest of the team is really uninspiring. JR Smith did win Sixth Man of the Year in 2013, averaging 18.1 points per game for the Knicks, but that was countless bottles of Hennessy ago.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rodney Hood (center).
Sexton has some promise as the eighth pick in the draft, but his jump shot is a work in progress. Rodney Hood will probably have the opportunity to grab a bigger piece of the offense as well, but he bombed in that role in Utah just last season.
Ultimately, the Cavs won the lottery in three of the four years that they played without LeBron from 2010-14, and it appears they’ll be in a position to contend for that designation again next season.
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