LeBron James Trade: Options Alert in Madison Square Garden (MSG)

Posted in General, Options 
July 7th, 2010

Will basketball great LeBron James stay in Cleveland, or will he go packing for more money?  Personally, I could care less.  If you can imagine that a basketball player might be influencing a stock out there, imagine away.  Madison Square Garden, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSG) is fairly new as a stock because of the spin-off.  Its MSG Sports consists of the NBA’s New York Knicks, the NHL’s New York Rangers, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.  The Knicks… one of LeBron’s potential or speculated destinations now that he is free to look elsewhere beyond Cleveland.

Options speculators are out in MSG today:

  • JULY-2010 $22.50 CALLS have seen 6,500 contracts trade, versus an open interest of only 1,931 contracts.  There is elevated PUT volume as well as the JULY-2010 $20.00 PUTS have traded 3,113 contracts versus a mere open interest of 248 contracts.

UPDATE at 3:50 PM EST: JULY $20.00 CALLS have traded 1,895 contracts versus 831 open interest; JULY $22.50 CALLS have traded 8,989 contracts; JULY $20 PUTS have traded 3,937 contracts.

It seems that if there is a way to speculate, options traders always have their hands in it.

Madison Square Garden shares has also seen about twice-normal trading volume today against its 311,000 shares on average: shares are up 1.5% at $20.58 on over 600,000 shares with just over an hour until the closing bell.

Joe Kunkle of OptionsHawk.com said: “There is  bullish bias with the front month volatility skew betting on Lebron to the Knicks, but the largest trade bought 2000 July 22.5/20 strangles, just betting on a volatile reaction in shares to the news.  Multiple celebrities on Twitter, including Ocho Cinco are hinting at Lebron to the Knicks.”

Sometimes you hear the stock market being referred to as the same as gambling.  This is one of those examples.

JON C. OGG

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