Zach LaVine enters 2022 NBA free agency as one of the most sought after targets on the market. And while the vast majority of insiders think there’s a great chance he will sign a five-year max deal with his current team, the Chicago Bulls, this hasn’t stopped the best betting sites for the NBA from dropping odds on where Zach LaVine lands if he leaves the Windy City.
This is a unique opportunity for bettors to get in on some NBA futures. Oddsmakers are providing you a chance to pick LaVine’s next team only if he leaves the Bulls. This means, if he returns to Chicago, your initial wager will be refunded, since that’s not an option from which you can choose.
Here are the most recent odds on where Zach LaVine signs if he leaves the Bulls, courtesy of Bovada:
|Zach LaVine's Next Team|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+450|
|New York Knicks||+650|
Continue double-checking these betting odds on 2022 NBA free agency until you actually submit your wager. All NBA free agency futures move frequently and dramatically this time of the year, and our basketball betting odds are accurate entering Thursday, June 30.
Meanwhile, if you’re still in the market for a place to bet on the NBA, we have all the reading material you need to find a great landing spot. From our list of the best online sportsbooks overall to our reviews on the best sites and apps for mobile betting, we’re confident you can find a trustworthy home to invest in NBA odds.
Including the Lakers as the odds-on favorite to land LaVine is bold. Los Angeles doesn’t have the cap space to sign him outright, and they cannot convey a first-round pick in prospective sign-and-trades until 2027 as of now.
What’s more, any LaVine sign-and-trade would have to include Russell Westbrook to make the salaries work, and he isn’t viewed favorably around the league with $47.5 million coming to him next year.
Putting the Lakers here suggests two things: that LaVine will tell the Bulls he will sign in Los Angeles for a lot less money, forcing them to negotiate a sign-and-trade, and that the Lakers can find a third team involved in the deal to take on Westbrook’s salary.
The Hawks made a lot more sense as a LaVine landing spot before Thursday. They were never going to have cap space, but they had a clear need for another ball-handler beside Trae Young and have the assets to throw into blockbuster sign-and-trades.
And, well, that’s exactly what the Hawks already did. Sort of.
Atlanta traded third first-round picks, one first-round swap and Danilo Gallinari to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday for All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. Not only have the Hawks now exhausted their best assets for a LaVine sign-and-trade, but they no longer have a clear need for him with Murray and Young both in the backcourt.
With all that said, we like them as a dark horse. LaVine is big enough to play the 3, and Murray may not provide enough offense in units without Trae.
We were a little surprised to see the Knicks make this list. It’s probably because they are, well, the Knicks.
As of now, though, they don’t have the cap space to sign LaVine outright. They’d need to trim another $5 million to $7 million from their payroll before making a max-contract bid.
To be clear: That’s not impossible. But the Knicks are also known to have eyes for Jalen Brunson, a free agent who played for the Dallas Mavericks the past few seasons. If they sign him to a four-year deal worth more than $25 million each season, that obliterates their cap space. They would need to engage the Bulls on sign-and-trade talks for Lavine.
While New York has enough first-round picks to make those negotiations with Chicago interesting, we think oddsmakers are overvaluing them a little bit here. They have less of a need to grab LaVine if they add Brunson to a core that already has RJ Barrett. Now, if they miss out on Brunson, it’s a different story entirely.
And our prediction is…a team we haven’t talked about yet!
The Miami Heat are by far and away the best bet to land Lavine if he leaves the Bulls. Like many others on this list, they don’t have the cap space to sign him outright, but their trade packages are pretty attractive. Miami can offer the 25-year-old Tyler, the recently drafted Nikola Jovic and up to three first-round picks going as far out as 2029 in exchange for LaVine. They will also need to include additional salary to make the math work—and they have that in Duncan Robinson.
If you’re LaVine, meanwhile, you might actually prefer the Heat to the Bulls. Miami boasts a core with three stars already in place: Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Adding LaVine to that group wouldn’t just make the Heat a contender. They might be the 2023 NBA Finals favorite.
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your NBA betting: