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Odds Against LeBron James Being Fined for Tampering

LeBron James
The Lakers are eager to pair LeBron James with Anthony Davis. (Photo by Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • NBA Free Agency beings July 1st
  • The LA Lakers have been fined by the NBA in back to back years for tampering
  • League insiders have accused LeBron James and the Lakers for tampering with Anthony Davis

Anyone with any knowledge of the situation surrounding the Lakers botched attempt to land Anthony Davis from the Pelicans knows something suspicious was up.  The two questions to ask are, can the NBA prove LeBron James and the Lakers may have been guilty of tampering? And more importantly, do they even want to find out?

Will LeBron James or the Lakers be Fined for Tampering in 2019?

Will LeBron James or the Lakers be Fined for Tampering with Prospective Free Agents in 2019? Odds at Bovada (02/08/19)
Yes +225
No -350

Stars talk, that’s a reality of the world we live in.  Back in the day, before cell phones and social media, the game was very different. Now all of these guys are buddies and communicate all the time with much of the conversation surrounding who is going to play where.

Cherry picking LeBron James and this incident would be offside by the NBA, especially when the Golden State Warriors continue to dominate after constructing a team where surely some behind-the-scenes conversations took place.

LeBron James being fined personally is highly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in this prop.

The Lakers Have a History of Being Fined for Tampering

Included in the prop is the opportunity for the Lakers to be fined, which unlike James being dinged, is actually much more likely. They have been fined each of the last two years. In 2017, they were docked $500,000 for contact with Paul George, and last year Magic Johnson himself was fined $50,000 for comments regarding Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

It’s a pattern of behavior by the Lakers that you can argue makes sense. If it’s just paying fines, they may believe the cost is worth the opportunity to back channel and share their desires with superstars on other teams.

The Lakers may believe the cost is worth the opportunity to back channel and share their desires with superstars on other teams.

Seeing the odds from Bovada, a +225 payday betting on something that’s happened both of the last two years is definitely appealing. How much were they involved with behind-the-scenes conversations with Anthony Davis and Klutch Sports Group? It’s tough to tell, but Adam Silver seems like the type of commissioner who would stand up for what’s right and do some digging on the issue.

How likely is Adam Silver to Fine the Lakers?

Did the Lakers already commit an infraction worthy of a fine? Maybe. But even if they haven’t, the bet laid out doesn’t say anything about Anthony Davis. With all the mega free agents on the market this offseason (Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, etc.) it’s totally possible the Lakers will step over the line again – intentionally or unintentionally – before free agency opens.

With all the mega free agents on the market this offseason it’s totally possible the Lakers will step over the line again.

If I was running an organization with endless funds, I’d absolutely use all the channels available knowing even if I was caught and fined, that penalty doesn’t really do any damage. I believe it’s possible and maybe even likely they get fined and anytime you think something is likely to happen and you get +225 on the prop, you hammer it.

PICK: LeBron James or the Lakers will be fined for tampering in 2019 (+225)

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Ryan has been working at TSN for over nine years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That's Hockey. Over the years, he's launched and hosted TSN's first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That's Hockey 2Nite.