Kawhi Leonard trade reports lead to drastic spike in Lakers’ NBA title odds


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The Los Angeles Lakers opened at Westgate Las Vegas Superbook less than two weeks ago tied with the Miami Heat for the fifth-best odds to win the 2018-19 NBA championship. But in light of multiple reports Friday that Spurs star Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio and prefers the Lakers as a trade destination, their odds have spiked drastically.

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New Westgate odds now give the Lakers a 6-1 shot of winning it all next season (14.29 percent), which is a probability that would rank third juxtaposed to the opening lines two weeks behind only Golden State (5-4), Houston (7-2) and Philadelphia (7-2), and ahead of Boston (8-1).

If Kawhi does get traded to L.A., he has the potential to significantly improve the team’s talent level. But regardless of your thoughts on him, his presence alone likely isn’t the only driving factor behind the sudden spike out of Vegas. He may be seen by oddsmakers as merely the first domino to fall for the Lakers this offseason — dominoes Vegas seems to think may already be wobbling in their favor.

With LeBron James and Paul George — both of whom have been rumored to have an interest in L.A. — set to hit the free-agent market this summer, the Lakers’ title odds at 6-1 starts to make some sense. A lot will have to fall perfectly into place for L.A., most notably coming to an agreement to acquire Leonard from San Antonio, but it’s not crazy to think a massive coup this summer centered around LeBron, George and Leonard could shake up the NBA landscape and be a talented enough squad give the Warriors a run for their money next season.


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