The NBA offseason has been an eventful one, to say the least, as the strong teams got even stronger and the disparity in talent between the East and West got bigger.
Most franchises revamped their rosters and made some decent signings that would certainly help sway betting tips come the regular season. However, the story of the summer is certainly about the creation of “super teams” and how the competitive balance of the NBA has been altered again, to the surprise of the online gambling community.
The first domino to fall was Jimmy Butler, who was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a 2017 first-round pick that became Lauri Markkanen. The deal was a sign that the Chicago Bulls are ready to rebuild, something that eventually led to the buyout of Dwyane Wade.
After his exit from the Windy City, Wade joined the Cleveland Cavaliers and reunited with his best friend LeBron James. The Cavs now have what can be considered as a “Big 4,” along with Kevin Love and All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who was acquired by Cleveland along with Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic in a trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
Speaking of Boston, the Beantown also had a busy summer. Not only did they acquire Irving, but also signed Gordon Hayward in free agency to create their new “Big 3″ along with Al Horford.
The Celts needed to shed some players like Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk to make room for their lineup, but their summer moves were praised by many as it signals they are now in win mode.
Out West, however, there were bigger and more eye-popping deals that shook the entire NBA talent landscape.
Chris Paul being shipped to the Houston Rockets to play with James Harden was just the beginning of it, as the ‘Lob City’ era of the LA Clippers seemed to meet its end—though, the Clippers’ signing of European star point guard Milos Teodosic will certainly raise hopes up.
Oklahoma City’s move to snatch Paul George from the Pacers also sent shockwaves, and the team made a strong statement that they are ready to contend for the title when they agreed to bring Carmelo Anthony in from the New York Knicks. They now have George and Anthony paired up with reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, who just signed the richest extension in league history.
The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, didn’t make a splash doing trades, but they made sure to keep their core intact, bringing back Kevin Durant on a discounted deal and signing Steph Curry to an extension. They even had enough money to get Nick Young and Omri Casspi to bolster their bench!
A lot of wheeling and dealing has happened, and it’s worth mentioning that the likes of Brook Lopez (LA Lakers), Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets), Rudy Gay (San Antonio Spurs), Ricky Rubio (Utah Jazz), and Dwight Howard (Charlotte Hornets) also changed teams this summer.
As previously mentioned, however, with most All-Stars jumping to the Western Conference, there’s bound to be a huge gap in talent and quality. And us’s odds show that six out of ten teams expected to win the NBA championship are from the West.
Last year’s finalists Golden State (1.55) and Cleveland (3.00) remain the teams to beat, but the likes of Houston (6.50), Boston (7.00), San Antonio (11.00) and Oklahoma (16.00) are anticipated to give the two heavyweights a run for their money.
Click for more basketball betting options.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.