NBA free agency began on Thursday, but Kevin Durant asked the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, which sent ripples through the cosmos and altered the futures market. The Boston Celtics are +550 odds at DraftKings to win the 2023 NBA championship, but the Phoenix Suns are right behind at +600 odds because they’re the favorite to land Durant in a trade.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are also +600 odds to win the title in 2023, with the Milwaukee Bucks right behind them at +650 odds.
|2023 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS UPDATE|
|Golden State Warriors||+600||+600|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+4000||+4000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+7000||+10000|
|New York Knicks||+15000||+20000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+80000||+30000|
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets saw their championship odds plummet from +600 to +2400 after the trade request from Durant.
Moving Up: Suns, Heat, Raptors Amidst Durant Trade Rumors
DraftKings posted a prop bet where you can wager on what team will end up with Durant. The Suns and Heat are the top two teams on that list, which is why there’s been a noticeable improvement in their 2023 championship odds. However, the Suns and Heat have to jump through a lot of hoops and have some difficult maneuvers ahead of them if they expect to acquire Durant in a trade.
The Heat improved from +1400 to +1100 when they were listed among the possible landing spots for Durant. The Heat were in the Eastern Conference Finals twice in the last three seasons, and could’ve won their second conference title if Jimmy Butler did not miss a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.
The Suns went from +900 to +600 odds to win the 2023 NBA championship based on the Durant rumblings. They still have to figure out what to do with Deandre Ayton, whom they clearly have no interest in offering a max contract extension. The Suns would have to use Ayton in a sign-and-trade deal, but they’d also have to part ways with key role players like Jae Crowder and sixth man Cam Johnson.
The Toronto Raptors have the least amount of resistance to snag Durant because they have the right combination of players and draft picks to offer the Nets. The Raptors saw their NBA championship odds uptick from +5500 to +4000, but it’s nothing close to the Suns.
Even though they have an easier path to land Durant, would Durant want to play north of the border? Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to an NBA championship in 2019, but the Raptors would have to give up a lot of supporting cast members — like OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakim, or 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes — to make a trade with the Nets possible
Odds Bump for Lakers, T-Wolves, Hawks
The Minnesota Timberwolves leveraged their future to acquire Rudy Gobert in a trade with the Utah Jazz. The Timberwolves added the three-time Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert, but it came at a high cost including four first-round draft picks, plus the #22 pick in the current draft, and a couple of starters. After the Gobert trade, the Timberwolves saw their championship odds improve from +5500 to +4000.
The Atlanta Hawks made a bold trade to acquire Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs. It cost the Hawks three first round picks to upgrade their backcourt with a top defensive player in Murray. Oddsmakers and NBA bettors took note of the addition, and the Hawks saw a huge jump from +8000 to +4000 odds to win the 2023 championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers did not make any trades or serious moves during the first 48 hours of free agency, yet their 2023 championship odds bumped from +2000 to +1100. Several bettors made significant wagers on the Lakers to win the title, which caused the bookies to quickly adjust their lines. Most of that is attributed to rumors that the Lakers will acquire Kyrie Irving in a trade with the Nets. Of course, the Lakers are dead in the water if they fail to acquire Irving and they’re stuck with an untradable Russell Westbrook. But Lakers fans and bettors are an optimistic and deep-pocketed bunch.
Moving Down: Nets, Jazz, Spurs, Pacers
The San Antonio Spurs were long shots before the Murray trade, but after they dealt their best player to the Hawks, the Spurs saw their long shot odds drop from +30000 to a moon shot at +80000.
The Indiana Pacers were +50000 odds to win the title this season before they traded Malcolm Brogdon. After they shipped Brogdon to the Boston Celtics, the Pacers dropped to +100000 odds. Meanwhile, the Celtics moved to the top of the futures board at DraftKings at +550 oods to win the 2023 NBA championship after they were the runner up this year. The Celtics added a much-needed ball handler and bolstered their bench with Brogdon.
The Utah Jazz finally hired a new coach — Will Hardy an assistant with the Boston Celtics — to replace Quin Snyder. However, they saw their title odds slip from +4000 to +6500 after the Gobert trade. The Jazz said they have no desire to trade Donovan Mitchell, but the New York Knicks are dangling multiple first-round picks to entice the Jazz to blowup the entire team. If the Jazz trade Mitchell, their title odds will plummet to the bottom of the futures board with hopeless teams like the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.
The Brooklyn Nets are a hot mess right now after the Durant trade request, which is why they went from a co-favorite to win the title at +600 odds to +2500. The unpredictable Irving opted in for one more season, but the Nets are shopping him in a trade even though the market is very thin. The Lakers are interested in Kyrie, but it’s a difficult trade to pull off unless the Nets are foolish enough to take Westbrook off their hands.