- BetOnline has moved the Houston Rockets to 8/1 in its latest NBA Championship odds
- Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics (+1600) are an under-the-radar bet to make the NBA Finals
- The Brooklyn Nets (+2500) are a longshot unless Kevin Durant returns early
While the NBA is investigating the timing of early free-agency deals, one could argue it was the late player movement that really reshaped the league.
After green-lighting a monster trade that allowed six-time All-Star Paul George to join up with Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder then shipped Russell Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul and even more first round picks.
Using the odds at BetOnline, let’s see how the James Harden-Westbrook reunion has impacted the 2020 NBA Championship odds.
2020 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
|Los Angeles Clippers||+350|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+450|
|Golden State Warriors||+1400|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+3300|
You would think pairing the 2017 NBA MVP with the 2018 NBA MVP would have fans and media crying about the formation of yet another “unfair” superteam, but so far the Westbrook-Harden duo has been met with overwhelming skepticism.
At the same time, everyone is rightfully celebrating trade-wizard Daryl Morey for dumping CP3’s hideous contract while bringing in another superstar who can breathe new hope into Houston’s fan base.
The 30 Facts That Will Make or Break the Harden-Westbrook Rockets by @zachkramhttps://t.co/Za9MrmnuDB via @ringer
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 16, 2019
Given the questionable depth of both the Lakers and Clippers, and the fact that their former OKC teammate is no longer in Golden State, the two ball-dominant guards at least have a chance to exorcise their playoff demons together.
The Celtics claimed tampering after losing five-time All-Star Al Horford to the Sixers in free agency, but the 33-year-old’s departure hardly seems like a deathblow.
Considering Kyrie Irving’s frayed relationship with his teammates and coaches, the former UConn Huskies star should be viewed as an upgrade.
Boston, of course, conducted some quality tampering of their own to sign point guard Kemba Walker to a four-year, $141 million max contract. And considering Kyrie Irving’s frayed relationship with his teammates and coaches, the former UConn Huskies star should be viewed as an upgrade.
Jalen Rose on the Celtics with Kemba Walker this season:
“The Boston Celtics are going to surprise a lot of people this year.” pic.twitter.com/krnbORmYQe
— Casey Baker – New Account :/ (@_CaseyBaker) July 19, 2019
With Gordon Hayward another year removed from that gruesome leg injury and both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown expected to get even better, the Celtics are an enticing dart throw at 16/1 to win the NBA title.
About two weeks ago, you may have scrolled across the following headline on your Twitter feed:The Nets Aren’t Ruling Out A Kevin Durant Return Next Season.
With Brooklyn currently listed as a 25-1 underdog, it’s safe to say that Vegas is not buying the injury optimism. And given how an early return put KD in this unfortunate predicament in the first place, neither should you.
KD on the comeback trail ?
(via @KDTrey5) pic.twitter.com/LzJvGv0K1K
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2019
That said, the Nets are still a smarter bet than the Raptors, who are somehow still listed at 25-1. Presumably this is in case Kawhi changes his mind and forces his way back to Canada, or perhaps Vegas is still in shock that Toronto won the NBA Championship?