Lakers rise on National Basketball Association championship odds, Raptors remain steady

Lakers rise on National Basketball Association championship odds, Raptors remain steady

Lakers rise on National Basketball Association championship odds, Raptors remain steady

Ever since the end of the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association season, rumors have been flying endlessly about where LeBron James will play next year. That eventually led to the communication breakdown between the player and franchise and ensued in the offseason discussion of where Leonard will go, specifically Los Angeles.

After snatching LeBron James, the biggest free agent in the 2018 market, the Los Angeles Lakers are shifting to filling out the roster.

The biggest reminder of the LeBron James era in Cleveland came down on Tuesday as workers removed a billboard featuring the four-time NBA MVP.

For obvious reasons, any team would love to have the talents of James since there's a reason why he's considered one of the greatest players of all time, and he would have increased Philadelphia's chances of winning next year's NBA Finals.

Moments later, they agreed to a one-year deal worth $9 million to sign Rajon Rondo, a veteran point guard most recently with the Celtics, according to sources who weren't authorized to speak publicly. That was certainly the case with Paul George, who before signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder past year, wanted to join the Los Angeles side.

As now constructed without Leonard, the Lakers are obviously not better than Golden State or Houston, but if they get into the playoffs as a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th seed, they could face off against several teams in the first round that today look to have a more impressive arsenal: Utah, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and Minnesota. But whether they can make that happen appears still very much in question.

It'll be interesting to see how James handles LaVar and the Ball family while in Los Angeles - that is if the Lakers don't trade Lonzo away, as has been rumored in recent weeks.

After all, the Lakers had reportedly been trying to land San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard in a trade to pair another star with James.

With NBA Free Agency in full swing, there have been plenty of Lakers rumors about which players are coming and going. Not exactly the most appealing situation to a player trying to win championships as his career approaches its end.

This is a marked difference from how things went with the Cleveland Cavaliers when James returned in 2014. They do, however, each become free agents in 2019, when Horford and Irving can hit free agency, as well. That includes three young stars and multiple NBA Draft picks.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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