Odds favor LeBron James staying in Miami or returning to Cleveland

LeBron James has a big decision to make.
LeBron James has a big decision to make. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James can opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July if he so chooses. The odds point to him playing the first game of next season in Miami or returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, via Bovada:

Miami Heat: 1/3

Cleveland Cavaliers: 7/2

Chicago Bulls: 13/2

Houston Rockets: 3/2

Los Angeles Lakers: 15/1

In addition, Bovada has released hypothetical odds to win the NBA championship depending on where James signs. The Heat's odds, if they lose him, would go from 7/2 to 5/2. With James, Cleveland's odds would jump from 25/1 to 3/1, Chicago's from 10/1 to 2/1, Houston's from 16/1 to 5/1 and the Lakers' from 25/1 to 11/2. If Miami is able to add Carmelo Anthony and keep James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, its title odds would move to 5/2.  

As Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com wrote the night that the season ended, James is the NBA's most powerful player and his decision will affect the whole league. The safe bet is that James will stay where he's had so much success in the past four seasons, but he's surprised us all before.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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