All-Star forward LeBron James is set to play in his first campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers after inking a four-year, $153 million deal earlier this month.
This has immediately set the bar high for the level of expectations about his play next season heading into his 16th campaign. According to OddsShark.com, the 33-year-old is currently the favorite to win the MVP award for the fifth time in his career.
King James leads the pack at MyBookie followed by Anthony Davis (+330), reigning MVP James Harden (+400), Giannis “Greek Freek” Antentokounmpo (+400), Kevin Durant (+650), Kawhi Leonard (+800), Stephen Curry (+1200), Kyrie Irving (+1600), Joel Embiid (+1600), and Russell Westbrook (+1600) to round out the top 10 on the oddsboard.
Much of this lies on the fact that James is still playing some of the best basketball of his career coming off an MVP-caliber campaign averaging 27.5 points on 54.2 percent shooting from the field along with a career-best 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per contest. It saw him finish with a league-best 2,251 points scored last year while also being the first player in NBA history to rack up at 30,000 career points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.
James has a chance to make a compelling case to earn the MVP award by leading the Lakers back to relevancy back in the league by posting them to the playoffs as the team has failed to reach the postseason in each of the last seasons. In fact, this is the longest playoff drought in franchise history. If he’s able to continue to produce at an elite level while pushing Los Angeles in the thick of the playoff picture could be enough to help him secure MVP honors.
Regardless if he’s able to lead the Lakers back to being one of the top teams in the league is a major step in the right direction for the franchise with the championship aspirations coming back into the play.
Bob Garcia IV
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