NBA fans, strap yourselves in and get ready for an enthralling 2018/19 campaign. LeBron James, one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, has left the Cleveland Cavaliers in favour of a move to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now 33 years old, James made the difficult decision to join the Lakers due to their enhanced chances of challenging for the NBA title.
Wondering how influential LeBron is going to be in Los Angeles? The answer: very. He will be the heart and soul of this Lakers side – just as he was in Cleveland.
For his career, James averages 27.2 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game and 7.2 assists per game. To put that into perspective, no Lakers player has averaged those figures in a single season let alone an entire career.
Punters have been backing Los Angeles since the news broke and the Lakers are now 5/1 to win the NBA Championship next season.
Luke Walton’s men have been busy in free agency, moving quickly and effectively to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson whilst also agreeing to bring JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo to Staples Center.
Surrounding James with talent is an absolute must for the Lakers ahead of 2018/19. LeBron had to do everything himself at Cleveland last season and you can hardly blame him for jumping ship.
The Cavaliers are heading backwards whilst Los Angeles are planning for a bright and exciting future – Cleveland are now priced at 50/1 for a shock NBA title success.
Now plying his trade in the Pacific Division, LeBron’s personal rivalry with the Golden State Warriors will hit new heights in 2018/19.
The Lakers will hope that James is the man to take the team back to glory; their last NBA Championship triumph was back in 2010. Kobe Bryant was once LA’s main man and now James has to live up to that reputation.
First things first, a winning season is an absolute must. Finishing above .500 will be the initial aim for James and co next year; the Lakers ended 2017/18 with a 35-47 record.
LeBron will be expecting to compete in the playoffs and Los Angeles look destined for a much improved year. I’m not saying they are going to win it all but the Lakers are primed to push Golden State close.
The Warriors are still some way clear of their closest rivals though. Golden State have five 2017/18 All-Star players on their roster; no other team has more than two.
Unsurprisingly, Steve Kerr’s side are as short as 3/5 to retain the NBA title next season. They certainly won’t have everything their own way despite their talented roster…
LeBron James will go down in history as one of the all-time greats and his hopes of snagging top spot in that category will be boosted if he can lead Los Angeles to glory.
James has four years to inspire the Lakers to an NBA Championship and fans will be expecting big things in the coming months. This blockbuster trade has blown the NBA wide open and it should be a very exciting campaign for fans around the world.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*