2019-20 NBA Title Odds: LeBron James, Lakers Favored After Raptors' Finals Win

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 14, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as center Tyson Chandler, left, and Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers, who finished 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record in 2018-19, are 4-1 favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA title, per Caesars Palace:

Of course, the odds tell a far different story about the Lakers' prospects than their 2018-19 record does. Los Angeles is heavily favored to land New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, a six-time All-Star who averaged 25.9 points and 12.0 boards per game last season:

Pairing Davis with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James would make the Lakers formidable regardless of their surrounding talent.

However, a James-Davis Lakers squad would not enjoy a cakewalk to the NBA Finals if the odds are any indication.

There figures to be much more parity and suspense at the top of the league than in past years, when the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors faced off in the NBA Finals four straight seasons.

Nine teams have 15-1 odds or better to win it all, per Caesars Palace, and the defending champion Toronto Raptors are 8-1. The Western Conference-winning Golden State Warriors are 10-1.

Of note, the Milwaukee Bucks are 6-1. They'll return likely NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, a transcendent star who should keep his team afloat regardless of his supporting cast.

The 6-1 Los Angeles Clippers could be making moves, as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on SportsCenter.

"He came to Toronto with the idea ... this was a very fine one-year way station, and I'm sure exceeded his expectations how they managed him physically to be a Finals MVP again, to win a championship," Wojnarowski said.

"But there was always the risk of him going back west. The L.A. Clippers are at the very top of that list, and I think the Raptors still have work to do between now and June 30 and the start of free agency to keep Kawhi Leonard in Toronto."

Leonard landing in L.A. could lead to an incredible city rivalry next year with the Lakers and Clippers battling for Western Conference supremacy. Until then, the NBA draft is set for Thursday, and free agency begins June 30.

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