After a disappointing season that saw them struggle late in the regular season and lose in the first round of the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to make some changes. Chris Paul, Buddy Hield, Kyle Lowry, even Lonzo Ball were rumored to be on general manager Rob Pelinka’s shortlist.
Then with the 2021 NBA Draft just hours away, the Lakers shocked the basketball world. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Twitter that Los Angeles was on the verge of acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers are near a deal to acquire Washington's Russell Westbrook for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a 2021 first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
The blockbuster trade would include Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, and the Laker’s 22nd overall pick in the draft, and will become official at the start of free agency on August 2, 2021.
Even an unofficial trade can shift the odds, and that’s exactly what happened in the NBA futures market. Los Angeles moved from +500 to +400 to win the NBA Championship as they became one of the top basketball betting picks of the day behind the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn’s odds moved slightly from +225 to +250 and they remain the NBA favorites. The Wizard’s championship odds stayed static at +15000.
The Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship in a compelling six-game series against the Phoenix Suns, but their title odds didn’t move. The defending champions return Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holliday, and Khris Middleton and are at +800. After injuries decimated two seasons, the Warriors return the veteran trio of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. The Warriors’ odds slid from +900 to +1100.
The defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns actually sit fourth in the conference at +1400. With Westbrook in Los Angeles, all signs point to Chris Paul staying in the valley of the sun. The Utah Jazz at +1200 and the Los Angeles Clippers, whose value is tied up in Kawhi Leonard’s future, come in at +1600 to round out the top five in the West.
In the Eastern Conference, the 76ers could be shaking up their core with a Ben Simmons trade, but at +1600 there is an immense sentiment gap between them and the Nets.
In the middle of the NBA Futures market, you’ll find the Dallas Mavericks (+3000), the Miami Heat (+3500), and the Atlanta Hawks (+3500) all at long odds while having superstar players. Atlanta made the Eastern Conference Finals this season and the Heat are just a year off a finals appearance. Dallas has Luka Doncic leading the charge and with a move or two could move up the board fast.
Further down the board, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Jonas Valanciunas to New Orleans in return for Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, and the 10th pick in the NBA Draft (Ziaire Williams) and moved from +15000 to +10000.
- The Portland Trail Blazers opened at +4000 and dropped to +5000
- The Boston Celtics +4000 and New York Knicks +8000 along with Brooklyn, Philidelphia, and Miami round out the top five in the Eastern Conference.
- Five teams are at +50000. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Orlando Magic have the longest Championship odds.
- The Chicago Bulls dropped from +12500 to +15000 after the draft.
- The Denver Nuggets slipped slightly from +2000 to +2200 on news of the Westbrook trade.
- Futures betting action is up as more legalized sportsbooks come online and grow their customer base in the United States.
2022 NBA Championship Odds
August 1, 2021
Brooklyn Nets +250
Los Angeles Lakers +400
Milwaukee Bucks +800
Golden State Warriors +1100
Utah Jazz +1200
Phoenix Suns +1400
Los Angeles Clippers +1600
Philadelphia 76ers +1600
Denver Nuggets +2200
Dallas Mavericks +3000
Atlanta Hawks +3500
Miami Heat +3500
Boston Celtics +4000
Portland Trail Blazers +5000
New York Knicks +8000
New Orleans Pelicans +8000
Toronto Raptors +10000
Indiana Pacers +10000
Charlotte Hornets +10000
Memphis Grizzlies +10000
Chicago Bulls +12500
Washington Wizards +15000
Minnesota Timberwolves +25000
Sacramento Kings +25000
San Antonio Spurs +25000
Oklahoma City Thunder +50000
Orlando Magic +50000
Cleveland Cavaliers +50000
Detroit Pistons +50000
Houston Rockets +50000