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Lakers, Celtics betting favorites to land Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates sinking a basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks onTuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

It’s THE question going around the NBA right now. Everybody wants in the bidding — Orlando and Sacramento have leaked they would make offers — but only a few teams have a real chance.

Of course, you can bet on this — legally in more and more states, but that’s a discussion for another day. Bookmakers get paid to understand both how this will shake out and how people will bet on it, so what odds are they posting?

From overseas online betting site Bovada.

LA Lakers 5/7
Boston Celtics 15/4
Philadelphia 76ers 5/1
San Antonio Spurs 5/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 10/1
LA Clippers 10/1

There are other sites as well putting up numbers.

The Lakers are the heavy favorite everywhere, with good reason. One, Leonard wants to go there. Second, they have the assets to put together an interesting trade offer (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, the No. 25 pick this year, a future first, and Luol Deng to make the salaries work). Also, thier odds are lower because Lakers’ nation is huge and a lot of fans will bet on them because it’s what they want to happen. All that makes the Lakers not a good bet because you don’t get value on the pick. You have to risk a lot.

I think the Celtics — who can piece together several versions of offers to tempt the Spurs, and they have a ton of firsts coming up to deal — are a better value bet. So are the Spurs — San Antonio is not likely to move fast here. If they don’t get an offer they like, they’ll wait it out. The Boston offers will still be there, San Antonio would love to create a bidding war, and that could drag into next season (awkward though it would be).