Wednesday we saw the Dejounte Murray trades to Atlanta, affecting betting odds for 2023 NBA title† We knew there would be significant player movement in the free desk, which begins Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. However, important news with Kevin Durant broke out on Thursday afternoon and it’s probably having the biggest impact of any free agency news.
Durant has requested a transaction from the Brooklyn nets† according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Haynes reports that the Phoenix Suns are listed as Durant’s preferred trading destination. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Reports that Durant also has the Miami Heat on his wish list, but reports also say the Nets will trade him to whoever gives them the best return.
Due to the fact that one of the top players in the league is requesting a trade, the Bets for the 2023 NBA title have undergone a landslide. We have a new favorite to win the NBA title and a former contender has come way down the board. Let’s see.
Phoenix now favorite to win NBA title
After winning the NBA championship, Golden State Warriors were installed as favorites to win the title again in 2023. The Warriors opened at +550 to repeat, and they were the most popular bet in the early off-season. Earlier Thursday, Golden State was a +500 favorite to win a second championship in a row.
As soon as the Durant news fell and the favorite landing spots were reported, the Phoenix Suns skyrocketed in the standings. Currently, Phoenix is a +500 favorite to win the title† Golden State has fallen back to +550, its second best odds.
The Suns held the best record in the NBA during the 2021-22 regular season, finishing with 64 wins, eight more than the second-highest total. Phoenix entered the playoffs as +260 favorites to win the championship last season. However, they were upset in the second round and fell to the Dallas Mavericks in a seven-game run.
While no transaction has been completed yet, or even nearly completed, the idea of Kevin Durant joining a team already made up of Devin Booker and Chris Paul is scary for the rest of the competition. If those three join forces, the Suns will be hard to defeat. Even the idea that it’s possible has propelled them into NBA favorites.
The Miami Heat is also reportedly on Durant’s wish list. The Heat’s championship odds have been moved from 14-to-1 to 10-to-1 after the news broke.
Nets fall to pieces
When Kyrie Irving exercised his player option on Monday, it looked like the Brooklyn Nets would play it back with Irving, Durant and possibly Ben Simmons. That was not the intention.
It has now been confirmed that Durant wants out. It remains to be seen what happens to Kyrie, but the idea of him leaving seems likely. We know the duo won’t be in Brooklyn together this upcoming season, and their chances have been dealt a big blow.
Brooklyn was the favorite to win the NBA title for most of last season, despite Irving’s vaccination status being a distraction and Durant having to miss a long time due to injury. The Nets then traded James Harden to Philadelphia, but they were still seen as a potential title contender. However, Ben Simmons, who was acquired in the Harden trade, never made it to court and Brooklyn was swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
Brooklyn entered the off-season and was +700 to win the title in 2023. Those were the third best odds in the league, right behind the Warriors and Celtics, who met in the NBA Finals last season. The expectation was that the team would recover and become one of the best teams in the league next season.
However, now that it looks like it’s all falling apart for Brooklyn, their chances are in free fall. The The nets are now 25-to-1 to win the title, the 12th best odds in the league. A rebuild seems likely for the franchise as the super team never came to fruition.