CLEVELAND -- As early as Thursday morning, betting odds for LeBron James' free agency appeared to be shifting in a positive manor for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a day in which the Los Angeles Lakers were favored to sign the 4-time MVP at odds of -215, the Lakers' odds had shrunk to -195, with the Cavs' odds falling from +225 to +190, via 5Dimes.
In the world of betting, what a difference a few hours can make.
Just after noon on Thursday, the betting odds swung drastically in favor of the Lakers, with Los Angeles emerging as a -300 favorite to land James. For the uninitiated to the gambling world, that means a bettor would have to lay $300 to profit $100 on a successful wager on the Lakers.
The Cavs, meanwhile, now possess +260 odds to retain James, meaning a successful $100 bet on Cleveland would net $260.
The sizable shift in this morning's odds likely comes as a result of both Paul George declining the player option on his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a new ESPN report stating that the San Antonio Spurs are now engaged in trade talks centered around Kawhi Leonard. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are one of the teams the Spurs are currently talking to about in regards to their star player.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that James would be "hesitant" to take his talents to Los Angeles without another star player doing so first.
Based on Thursday's betting odds, the likelihood of that happening appears to have increased.