After the Warriors lost their second play-in game to the Memphis Grizzlies back in May, coach Steve Kerr said that before he and his team could start talking about being a title-contending team again, they needed to figure out how to be a playoff team again.
After all, they had just missed the postseason altogether for two years in a row. It's fair and logical for Kerr to think like that.
But based on the betting odds provided by our partner, PointsBet, that were released on Wednesday, the Warriors may not be far off from another championship.
PointsBet has Golden State with the fourth-best odds to win the 2022 NBA championship at +900, meaning a $100 bet would win you $900.
The Warriors trail just the Brooklyn Nets (+250), Los Angeles Lakers (+650) and Milwaukee Bucks (+800).
Where are the Pheonix Suns -- the team currently battling Milwaukee for this year's title? They're tied with the Warriors at +900.
There are a lot of thoughts that come to my head when I look at these odds. But the first, most glaring one, is that the Warriors have the same title odds as a team that very well might be the defending champs come next season.
On paper, I don't believe the Warriors and Suns will be on the same tier next season. Despite their current two-game skid in Games 3 and 4 of The Finals, Phoenix has been on fire throughout the entire playoffs so far.
Devin Booker has emerged as Kobe Bryant-light. Chris Paul is showing that he has plenty of gas left in the tank. Deandre Ayton had an incredible breakout series against the Los Angeles Clippers. There shouldn't be any reason for the Suns to get worse heading into next season.
Health certainly plays a role in why the Warriors have the fourth-best odds. Whenever Klay Thompson comes back, and whatever version of himself he is when he does, will automatically help Golden State. It wouldn't be the end-all-be-all problem solver, but he will help.
Maybe the Warriors are able to make a big trade this summer to get another star. And perhaps, that's what the odds are leaning heavily on. But, until those things happen -- Golden State makes a big roster move or Thompson gets back on the court -- I have a hard time believing they have as good of a shot at the title as the Suns.
The topic of Thompson leads into the next takeaway I have from these odds: How big of an impact health had on the playoffs this season, and how much it factors into next season's odds.
The Nets and Lakers were heavy favorites to be in the Finals this season. And without all of the injuries they suffered, they very well could have be the two teams playing right now. By looking at these odds, it's clear that if everyone is healthy, the Nets are the clear favorites above everyone else.
What James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were able to display as the Big Three when they were all on the court was astounding. And if their supporting cast is healthy as well, it makes sense they are far above everyone else
As for the Lakers, it's a testament to how there is still the belief that LeBron James has some kick left and Anthony Davis will be healthy.
On the flip side, the Clippers have the eighth-best odds to win the title at +1400. On Tuesday, they had the third-best odds, but, as news hit that Kawhi Leonard needed surgery to repair a partially torn ACL, their odds plummetted.
The Nuggets don't have great odds because they will be missing Jamal Murray due to a torn ACL for most of, if not all of, the season.
Again, Thompson will help the Warriors. And the Warriors will be better than this season. But, I'm following Kerr's way of thinking in saying Golden State needs to first become a playoff team before becoming a title team again.
Thompson's return will help them achieve the former, but it still likely will take something else to get them back on top of the NBA.
Note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.