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LeBron James Next Team Odds: Which Team Will Draft Bronny To Lure King James?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 7 mins

LeBron James Next Team Odds: Which Team Will Draft Bronny To Lure King James?

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For a while now, LeBron James has been open and honest about his desire to someday play alongside his son, Bronny James, in the NBA. That day isn’t as far off as it once was. 

Following a cardiac health scare, Bronny James made his long-awaited debut with USC on Dec. 10. The touted recruit played 16 minutes and managed four points, three rebounds, two assists and one highlight-inducing block in an upset loss to Long Beach State. 

Bronny at USC will presumably last just one year, before Bronny enters the 2024 NBA Draft. There’s little coincidence that LeBron James owns a player option for the 2024-25 season. By forgoing the option, LeBron can become an unrestricted free agent – and join Bronny, with whichever team drafts his son. 

So which team will hit the James lottery in 2024-25? Bookies.com veteran oddsmaker Adam Thompson has updated his hypothetical NBA futures odds as to where the James boys team up for 2024-25.

LeBron James & Bronny James Team Odds For 2024-25

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Toronto Raptors+65013.3%
Los Angeles Lakers+65013.3%
Los Angeles Clippers+75011.8%
Philadelphia 76ers+90010.0%
Cleveland Cavaliers+10009.1%
Chicago Bulls+12007.7%
Orlando Magic+15006.3%
Detroit Pistons+18005.3%
The Field+15040.0%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available at legal betting sites or betting apps. Odds don't always add up to 100% because they're based off a hypothetical sportsbook setting the line.

LeBron James Next Team Odds: Which Team Will Draft Bronny To Lure King James? 1

Where Could LeBron & Bronny Play?

We know he's serious about playing with Bronny - it's his his stated plan. But projecting Bronny’s draft placement is a matter of opinion and conjecture at this point. Prior to his senior year of high school ball, Bronny James was projected to be a second-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. 

Some media outlets, including ESPN, have had Bronny going in the top 10 overall in their mock drafts, thanks in part to a presumed package deal with Pops. Other draft prognosticators believe he could fall into the middle of the second round. If his dad wasn't his dad, would the 6-foot-4 guard that's likely to average under 10 ppg as a freshman get selected at all? 

We tend to believe first round, probably lottery. Here’s why: In early 2022, LeBron James announced that his final year as a pro would be alongside Bronny as a teammate. “My last year will be played with my son,” James told The Athletic. “Wherever Bronny is at, that's where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It's not about the money at that point.”

Before this 2022-23 NBA season, LeBron signed a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Lakers that includes a player option for 2024-25. LeBron can now choose where he'll play when Bronny becomes draft eligible. Suddenly, a 2-for-1 draft pick that includes one of the greatest players of all time might be in play.

LeBron will be in his age 40 season when Bronny enters the NBA. Even in his advanced-for-NBA age, James is averaging 25 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game and just led L.A. to the first-ever Mid-Season Tournament championship. 

His stats are starting to dip, but most teams would do whatever it takes to add someone of LeBron's caliber – especially if money isn’t a sticking point.

If LeBron is serious about playing for peanuts to suit up with Bronny, salary cap issues won't be a concern for most teams. There are five NBA title contenders that are projected to be over $35 million above the cap, including the Lakers (the Bucks, Nuggets, Suns, and Celtics, too). 

RELATED: Who Is Most Likely to Play With LeBron James Next Season?

There are five teams with enough projected practical cap space to pay LeBron what he's earning right now ($52.5M): the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, and Utah Jazz

The Pistons are on track to have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. It's unlikely they'd use it on Bronny just to get LeBron for one season. The 76ers and Magic are on pace to be picking near the end of the first round, perhaps too late to make such a move, though if Joel Embiid has anything to say about it, all-in Philly is looking hard into finding a way to get LeBron to town. 

The Raptors and Jazz are in that sweet spot, on a trajectory to own a mid-first-rounder. Utah is young and building; Toronto seems more in a position to try to win now. Free agency was unkind to the Raptors this past off-season. To add LeBron by drafting Bronny energizes the market and pushes them into contender status again. 

LeBron said he won't go to Orlando under any circumstances due to PTSD from the 2020 "bubble" postseason. He might feel differently if they draft Bronny, though. 

Other mid-market or re-tooling teams that don't get much love from a national perspective could also be inclined to create epic buzz, if only for one season. That group could be led by the Chicago Bulls, who are mired in mediocrity with massive contracts to stars. The big-market Bulls are rumored to be very interested in getting LeBron to play at an arena with a statue of Michael Jordan just outside. 

If we're being honest, however, expect politics and behind-the-scenes dealing to get some teams to move on. The James crew could pull an Eli Manning and flat out refuse to play for certain teams, forcing them to shy away at the draft. That could get them to a more-preferred destination such as either L.A. team or Cleveland, where LeBron is from. The L.A. Lakers would love to be the father-son landing spot, and the James’ would likely pick that as their top choice, too. Nothing is impossible. 

The L.A. Clippers badly wanted LeBron in his last free agency run and the move would make sense for the James’ family, who live and work in L.A. The Lakers and Clippers are both currently void of a first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, but both will likely try to move up if it means keeping LeBron (in the Lakers' case) or finally acquiring LeBron (for the Clippers).

The Cleveland Cavaliers would also be a nice career capper for LeBron, to return home for one year and play with his son in Ohio. The other three mentioned teams haven’t been in the NBA betting mix for a title for a while. Adding Bronny and LeBron could change that.

It's also possible no teams bite and Bronny falls into the second round, or possible (though less likely) he remains in college to hone his game. That's why The Field has by far the lowest odds. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.