The NBA's power structure shifted over the weekend, and not in any way that benefited the Boston Celtics.
The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday in a blockbuster trade, pouring ice-cold water on the Celtics' dreams of pair AD with Kyrie Irving.
Boston had as high as 10/1 odds of winning the 2020 NBA championship as of late last week. But with Davis off the table and Irving expected to walk in free agency, those odds have dipped sharply, according Jeff Sherman of SuperBook USA in Las Vegas.
2019-20 NBA Championship winner updated— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) June 15, 2019
GS, Phi 12/1
Bos, Den 16/1
Utah, Por 30/1
SA, Ind, NO 60/1
Orl, Atl 80/1
Mem, Chi, Sac, Phx 100/1
Det, Cha, Mia, Wsh, Cle, Min 200/1
With LeBron James and Davis in tow, the Lakers are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2020 NBA title despite missing the playoffs last season. The Celtics, meanwhile, have worse championship odds than seven other teams and are tied with the Denver Nuggets at 16/1 odds.
There are plenty of offseason shoes still to drop, as Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker will further alter the NBA landscape depending on where they sign in free agency this summer. (The Los Angeles Clippers at 7/1 odds suggests they're among the favorites to land Leonard.) The C's, armed with three first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, still could swing a trade to improve their roster after missing out on Davis.
But if Irving walks, it appears Danny Ainge and Co. may opt to build around young players like Jayson Tatum and Jayson Tatum going forward. And in the eyes of the sportsbooks, that puts them in a notably worse position to contend for a title than they were last week.
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