NBA title odds update: Celtics favored as Durant rumors hang over offseason
Kevin Durant requested a trade on the eve of NBA free agency. It's been eerily quiet in the month since, but speculation of his future home has shaped the betting market and lingers as the ultimate X-factor entering August.
The Nets star is still in Brooklyn for the time being, but the latest rumors center around a potential blockbuster deal with the Celtics, who reached the NBA Finals last season without him. That's helped bolster Boston's case as the clear title favorite (+450) at Barstool Sportsbook, ahead of the Bucks (+600), Clippers (+650), and reigning champion Warriors (+650) - who are coming off their fourth title in eight years and first since Durant left in 2019.
|Golden State Warriors||+650|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+650|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1200|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+4000|
|New York Knicks||+10000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+10000|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+80000|
It always seems to come back to Durant, who was briefly an MVP favorite in 2021-22 before injuries and the Nets' tumultuous season dashed his campaign. He still averaged 29.9 points per game - his most since winning MVP in 2013-14. He's also clearly one of the five best players in the game and the anchor to any potential suitor's championship hopes.
For a brief moment, it looked like the Suns were in the driver's seat to land the 12-time All-Star, as they were one of two teams (Heat) on Durant's wishlist of preferred trade destinations. However, there hasn't been any traction on a deal between the two sides, and Phoenix's title odds have slipped accordingly from as short as 6-1 in the hysteria of Durant's request.
Miami has seen its title odds slip from 8-1 in early July to 10-1 as of Monday, but it remains among the key players in the Durant sweepstakes. So are the Raptors, who were dealing at 50-1 in late June but have seen their price slashed to 30-1 heading into August. That number could continue to shrink if Scottie Barnes becomes available in trade talks.
Conversely, no team has plummeted further down the oddsboard than the Jazz. They opened at 50-1 but now own the ninth-longest odds to win it all amid a full roster teardown. Utah has already traded away longtime center Rudy Gobert in a blockbuster deal with the Timberwolves - another team whose odds have improved dramatically this summer - and it seems inevitable that Donovan Mitchell will be on his way out, too.
If there's one team that could see a dramatic shift in its odds, aside from the club that lands Durant, keep an eye on the Knicks. They seem to have their crosshairs on Mitchell should the Jazz ultimately part ways with their young guard. New York's odds have already been slashed from 250-1 to 100-1 in a month, and it hasn't even secured a deal for Mitchell.