Most fans were happy for the Toronto Raptors when they knocked off the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, but they were only partially paying attention. With the number of talented free agents expected to hit the market when free agency got underway at 6 PM ET on the afternoon of June 30th, they had something more important on their minds.
Who could their team acquire that would give them a better chance to be playing in and winning the NBA Finals next year?
That question was answered for several teams as news of the deals came fast and furious online once the clock read 6 PM. Many teams got their man (or men) while many did not. As a result, the odds have shifted on several teams.
As of 10 PM ET, the following teams saw their odds to win the NBA Championship next season either decrease or increase at the Westgate (with their odds at noon in parenthesis):
- Los Angeles Lakers +150 (was +200)
- Milwaukee Bucks +650 (was +600)
- Los Angeles Clippers +1000 (was+600)
- Philadelphia 76ers +1000 (was+1200)
- Toronto Raptors +1200 (was +1000)
- Denver Nuggets +1800 (was +1600)
- Utah Jazz +1800 (was +2500)
- Boston Celtics +2500 (was +2000 at noon; +1600 at 7 PM)
- Dallas Mavericks +5000 (was +6000)
- San Antonio Spurs +5000 (was +4000)
- Indiana Pacers +6000 (was +8000)
- New Orleans Pelicans +6000 (was +8000)
- Sacramento Kings +10000 (was +20000)
- Miami Heat +10000 (was +20000)
- New York Knicks +20000 (was +5000)
- Washington Wizards +30000 (was +20000)
- Detroit Pistons +30000 (was +20000)
- Charlotte Hornets +100000 (was +20000)
- Cleveland Cavaliers +100000 (was +20000)
The biggest change was to the odds for the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers. There already wasn’t much hope for the Cavs, and with many teams in the East getting better, it is no surprise their odds dropped so much.
Charlotte didn’t have much hope either, and with Kemba Walker heading to Boston, they have even less now.
The biggest surprise of the day has to be the New York Knicks. After all the talk, posturing and clearing up cap space, the only move of significance they made was signing Julius Randle to a three-year deal for $63 million.
Don’t be shocked if their odds get even longer by the time next season starts.
Teams that saw their odds improve include the Heat, Kings, Pelicans, Pacers, Mavericks, 76ers, and Jazz.
Philadelphia looked like their odds could shift either way for a while as they lost J.J. Reddick to the Pelicans and the Tobias Harris deal made it clear Jimmy Butler wasn’t coming back. However, acquiring Al Horford gave them a boost.
But Utah may be one of the more interesting teams to follow going forward. They were already a playoff team with a talented roster. But they have added Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Ed Davis while losing Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Favors.
Okay—so they may need some depth if they are going to contend over an 82-game season. But with the guys on the roster and the starting five they are going to have, they could steal the Western Conference next season.