2022 NBA Futures: Westbrook Trade Makes Lakers the Title Favorites

  • BetOnline‘s updated futures for the 2022 NBA Championship favor the Lakers (+300) following their draft-night acquisition of Russell Westbrook
  • The Brooklyn Nets (+325) and Milwaukee Bucks (+900) don’t have the cap space or trade pieces to respond with a big move of their own 
  • The Golden State Warriors (+900) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1600) are the best speculative bets in hopes they can bring in Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard

While the future of the NBA was on display on Thursday night at the 2021 NBA Draft, the old guard stole the show as the Los Angeles Lakers struck a deal with the Washington Wizards to team All-Star Russell Westbrook with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The blockbuster trade immediately shifted the 2022 NBA Championship odds with the Purple & Gold displacing last week’s title favorites, the Brooklyn Nets, at the top of the board. Let’s check the updated odds to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season. And if you need any help or advice, review these tips for betting on basketball.

2022 NBA Championship Odds

Los Angeles Lakers+300
Brooklyn Nets+325
Golden State Warriors+900
Milwaukee Bucks+900
Phoenix Suns+1400
Los Angeles Clippers+1600
Philadelphia 76ers+1600
Utah Jazz+1600
Denver Nuggets+1800
Dallas Mavericks+2200
Miami Heat+2500
Boston Celtics+3300
Atlanta Hawks+3500
New York Knicks+4000
Portland Trail Blazers+4000
New Orleans Pelicans+5000
Toronto Raptors+6600
Indiana Pacers+8000
Memphis Grizzlies+8000
Charlotte Hornets+10000
Chicago Bulls+10000
Washington Wizards+12500
Minnesota Timberwolves+15000
Cleveland Cavaliers+20000
Orlando Magic+20000
Sacramento Kings+20000
San Antonio Spurs+20000
Detroit Pistons+25000
Houston Rockets+50000
Oklahoma City Thunder+50000

Lakers the team to beat?

Perhaps the most fun part of the Lakers (+300) trade for Russell Westbrook is imagining him facing off against Brooklyn (+325) and his former Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden in the 2022 NBA Finals.

The 32-year-old guard was outstanding for the Wizards over the season’s final six weeks, averaging 23 points, 14 assists and 13.5 rebounds, but he’s a questionable fit with LeBron and AD in the half-court offense and has never been a playoff performer. With a dearth of outside shooting, one wonders if LA might have been better off bringing in 2020 3-Point Contest champion Buddy Hield from the Kings.

Two pieces of the deal that went from Los Angeles to Washington, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, could be rerouted to Brooklyn for guard Spencer Dinwiddie, according to reports. Without the cap space to make any serious moves this offseason, the Nets best chance at improving next year will simply be staying healthy.

The reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks (+900) also have no more chips to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday all making significant coin.

Brooklyn NetsTo Win 2022 NBA Championship
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Los Angeles LakersTo Win 2022 NBA Championship
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Warriors stand pat

Unfortunately for Golden State (+900), Bradley Beal reportedly has ‘no desire to leave the Wizards’. The team also reportedly rejected a ridiculous trade offer for Ben Simmons, with the Philadelphia 76ers asking for James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, and four first-round picks.

The Warriors still have plenty of trade chips in play after selecting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody at No. 7 and No. 14 overall on Thursday night, making them a decent speculative bet in hopes they can add another star to pair with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Westbrook’s move to Los Angeles likely means free-agent Chris Paul will stick with the Phoenix Suns (+1400), but with the veteran point guard’s former agent now running the Knicks (+4000), the Big Apple is in play.

The 76ers (+1600) are nowhere near title contention at the moment. But if general manager Darryl Morey keeps dreaming big and is able to land the aforementioned Beal or disgruntled Blazers guard Damian Lillard in return for Simmons, Philadelphia would have a championship-caliber roster capable of beating Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

Golden StateTo Win 2022 NBA Championship
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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