NBA Trade Deadline Winners, Losers
The NBA trade deadline was a flurry of activity with the Lakers, Suns, and Mavericks all coming out winners.
The impact of the NBA trade deadline sent shock waves through the league. Not only did it change the composition of several teams, it also changed the betting landscape of NBA odds to win the Eastern and Western Conference.
The NBA Finals odds also changed as some teams went from contenders to on lookers. The balance of power has shifted strongly to the West. Let’s look at the some of the fluctuation and what teams helped themselves as we approach the NBA All-Star Break.
Lakers Shake Up Roster
The Los Angeles Lakers moved guards Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn and Patrick Beverly along with center Thomas Bryant and power forward Juan Toscano-Anderson. They acquired Rui Hachimura, DeAngelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, and Jarred Vanderbilt.
The Lakers added size and a better fit at point guard by moving Westbrook and adding Russell. The betting odds of the Lakers winning the Western Conference changed from +3200 to +2000 at BetMGM. All sportsbooks look at the liability as they move the prices to attract action. While the Lakers are better, the durability of center Anthony Davis is a concern.
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Dallas Gets their Man
The Dallas Mavericks added Kyrie Irving in exchange for Dorian Finney Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie and multiple draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets. This move improved a talented team led by MVP candidate Luka Doncic into a top tier challenger for the Western Conference Finals. The betting public agreed and the odds of the Mavs winning the NBA Finals went from +1900 to +1700 at Golden Nugget Online sportsbook. If Irving does not resign with the Mavericks, the move could set the franchise back because they would have to find a free agent the caliber of the all-pro.
Suns Get Biggest Prize
The Phoenix Suns acquiring Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Mikal Bridge, Cam Johnson, Jai Crowder and multiple draft picks. Adding Durant with All Stars Devin Booker and Chris Paul is a Big Three in the mold of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat in 2011-2014. Those teams won two titles and went to the Finals four times.
After the trade, the Sun’s odds jumped to +225 on BetMGM to win the Western Conference. Phoenix joins the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks as the top teams to win the NBA Championship. The Sun’s odd to win the title stand at +450. The question mark is the playoff history of Paul. Durant as a difference maker.
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Clippers Bolster Fundamentals
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon and Mason Plumlee. They gave up John Wall, Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard along with two second round draft picks. The Clippers added size, shooting and ball handling without touching the core of their team. These moves dropped their odds from +1300 to +1000. They are positioned fifth best to win the NBA Title and third in the West.
Nets take a Big Hit
The Brooklyn Nets are obviously the onlooker for this NBA season. Trading two superstars the likes of Durant and Irving is unheard of. The Nets did both moves within 72 hours. They received good players and multiple draft picks but fell from the status of contender in the Eastern Conference. They are currently at +4000 to win the conference after the trade. The Net’s odd to win the NBA Title dropped from+550 to +9000
Other Contenders, Sleepers
The Eastern Conference teams that have the best odds to win the NBA Finals are the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics added Mike Muscala from the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has a career average of 38% from 3-point range. Muscala is more of an insurance policy in case of injury to Robert Williams III or Al Horford. The Bucks obtained Jae Crowder who has not played this season because a dispute with his former team, the Phoenix Suns. Crowder is a good defender and an excellent outside shooter. He is a good fit for the Bucks and bolsters their bench.
There are three sleeper teams to watch. The teams that are set to make a playoff run are the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies and the Philadelphia 76ers. Each of these teams rank in the six in scoring in the NBA. The Sixers and Grizzlies are also ranked in the top ten in NBA defense. Look at the odds of any of these teams to win their respective conferences. The Sixers are at +450 and Grizzlies at +750. The Sixers are the best choice of this group because they have the best road record of the three. They are 15-11 while the other two teams are .500 or below. This is an important stat because to win in the playoffs, the team you select must be able to win on the road.
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