NBA odds: Warriors given best shot to win 2020 title after Finals loss

NBA odds: Warriors given best shot to win 2020 title after Finals loss

Now that the Toronto Raptors have been crowned 2019 NBA champions, it's never too early to start looking ahead to next year.

And, if you're interested in putting money down on who the 2020 NBA champion will be, well, I've got a bridge to sell you.

The fact is, it's incredibly difficult to have any idea what the NBA landscape will look like three months from now, much less in an entire year. With numerous star players destined for free agency, and several serious injuries suffered in postseason play, the league might be as wide open as it's been in several years.

Shortly after the Raptors defeated the Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the title Thursday night, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released its latest 2020 NBA championship odds, and there's a whole lot to cover.

The Warriors, even after losing to the Raptors, remain favorites to win it all in 2020 at plus-350. However, at a minimum, Kevin Durant will miss a significant portion of the season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Klay Thompson likely will have to do the same after tearing his left ACL in Game 6. It's tough to imagine the Warriors winning the championship next year without both of those players, as evidenced by their failure to do so against the Raptors, so it wouldn't be shocking at all to see Golden State's odds drop.

But don't tell Steph Curry that.

Oh, and by the way, both Durant and Thompson are due to be unrestricted free agents, so there's no guarantee they'll even be with Golden State next season.

Then again, almost every other 2020 favorite has serious question marks as well.

The Lakers sit immediately behind the Warriors at plus-500, which is a bit hilarious considering they missed the playoffs this past season, and very well could strike out when it comes to acquiring significant star power this offseason. But, you know, LeBron. So, yeah.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the best regular-season record in 2019, are behind the Lakers at plus-600, and while Giannis Antetokounmpo seems primed to take over the Eastern Conference, they could lose Khris Middleton and others in free agency.

The Clippers (plus-800), whom many consider the favorites to land NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, have the fourth-best odds, right ahead of the Celtics and the Raptors, who are both plus-1000. The Celtics very well might lose Kyrie Irving in free agency, and the Raptors, despite winning the championship, could lose their best player in Leonard for the same reason.

[RELATED: Leonard wins second NBA Finals MVP, joins elite company]

Behind the Raptors are the Rockets and the 76ers (both plus-1200), followed by the one and only New York Knicks at plus-2000. That projection is entirely based on the Knicks landing not one but two superstars in free agency, one of whom just ruptured his Achilles.

So, yes, about that bridge ...

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young has never been one to blend in with the crowd, and he's not about to change anytime soon.

Even though his NBA playing days are behind him, Young still is very much keeping tabs on the league, and -- this might shock you -- he has some noteworthy opinions. In speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex, Young offered some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season, and as you'd expect, he didn't shy away from hot takes.

One of those takes, in particular, concerned the Warriors.

When asked if he had one crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season, Young provided a double dose.

"I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs," Young initially replied. "I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed."

Predictions for the Warriors are all over the place, and Swaggy P is no different. ESPN projects Golden State as the third-best NBA team over the next three seasons, but some of the company's personalities have a considerably lower opinion of the Dubs.

[RELATED: Why center-by-committee is Warriors' best course of action]

Young won his one and only NBA championship as a member of the Warriors, but clearly, that's not biasing his predictions. As for who he thinks the 2019-20 NBA champion will be, however, he went with one of the other five teams he played for in his 12-year career.


I suppose they can't all be hot takes.

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With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

SAN FRANCISCO -- With two practices remaining before opening night on Thursday, the Warriors have yet to identify their regular starting center.

That likely will be the case for at least a few weeks, according to coach Steve Kerr.

Though Marquese Chriss started the final four preseason games and appeared to have the edge, the return of Kevon Looney -- after being sidelined by a hamstring strain for nearly three weeks -- on Sunday provides some flexibility.

“Loon scrimmaged,” Kerr said after practice. “I just talked to him and he said he felt good. He’ll continue to get more work in as the week goes on. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go on Thursday night.”

Asked if Looney, the only big man on the roster with experience as a Warrior, might be the starter Thursday against the Clippers, Kerr did not dismiss the possibility.

“He probably would be,” he said. “But I’d probably do it based on matchups from game to game.”

As the Warriors prepared for training camp, it was generally assumed that the majority of the minutes at center would go to Willie Cauley-Stein and Looney. Cauley-Stein, acquired as a free agent after four seasons with the Kings, was the presumed starter, with Looney maintaining his role as an early sub.

That was before Cauley-Stein sustained a mid-foot sprain a few days before camp.

That was before Looney strained a hamstring on the first day of camp.

And before Marquese Chriss -- signed to a non-guaranteed contract one day before camp -- started four of five preseason games, opening eyes and minds and earning a roster spot.

Chriss, 22, might have the most comprehensive set of skills. Cauley-Stein, 26, offers the greatest length (7-foot-3 wingspan) and most experience as an NBA starter. Looney, 23, is most familiar with the team’s playbook and culture.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers happy with what Chriss brings to team]

Those three represent most of the center committee, with leftovers going to Omari Spellman.

“We lack size, obviously with Willie and Loon out,” Kerr said. “So, if we get Loon back, we’d probably look at the other team’s lineups and see what makes the most sense.”

The Warriors have been here before. Damian Jones and Looney rotated starting assignments at center last season before DeMarcus Cousins was cleared to play. Both Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee were utilized as starters in each of the two previous seasons.

A rotation of three, however, provides tremendous flexibility -- a platoon system of sorts -- while also presenting potential challenges to court chemistry.

Above all, it maintains the spirit of competition while also keeping everyone fresh.

Until someone emerges as the clear starter -- Cauley-Stein has progressed to non-contact drills, but he’s not expected to return until next month -- a center-by-committee system seems the smart way to go.

Indeed, for now, it may be the only way.