The addition of first-overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama did not improve the San Antonio Spurs‘ NBA title odds, but the Celtics’ acquisition of former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis did make Boston a favorite to win its 18th championship in 2023-24.
FanDuel has released its post-NBA Draft odds, which reflect some major changes throughout the NBA over the last week.
Most significantly, the Celtics leapfrogged the defending-champion Denver Nuggets as title favorites next season, going from a +500 to +460, meaning one would win $460 for correctly betting $100 on a Boston championship in 2024.
It wasn’t a draft pick that improved the Celtics’ odds, thereby reducing the potential payout for placing a winning bet on Boston. Instead, it was their agreement to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from Washington, which saw its slim title odds with FanDuel plummet from +37000 to +50000, meaning a winning $100 bet on the Wizards to win a title would return a whopping $50,000.
The Wizards have agreed to trade Porzingis to the Celtics as part of a three-team trade that also includes Marcus Smart heading to the Memphis Grizzlies, according to multiple reports.
The addition of Victor Wembanyama did not improve the Spurs’ NBA title odds, but the Celtics’ acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis did make Boston a favorite to win its 18th championship
Kristaps Porzingis voiced his support for the trade that sent him from Washington to Boston
The trade comes with Porzingis accepting his player option for next season.
The deal also includes the Grizzlies acquiring Smart, the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, from Boston in exchange for first-round draft picks in 2023 and 2024. ESPN reported the Wizards are also receiving guard Tyus Jones from Memphis, and forwards Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari and a second-round pick this year from Boston.
The Celtics add the 7-foot-3 Porzingis after they lost in seven games to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. Porzingis is coming off a solid season in Washington in which he averaged a career-high 23.2 points per game along with 8.4 rebounds. Most importantly, he stayed healthy enough to play in 66 games, his most since 2016-17 when he was with the New York Knicks.
Another team that saw its title odds slip on FanDuel was Philadelphia, which went from +1400 to +1700 amid rumors that All-Star guard James Harden could leave the 76ers in free agency next month.
James Harden could leave Philadelphia as a free agent, which has hurt the 76ers’ title chances
There were a few slight improvements around the league: The Miami Heat improved from +1800 to +1700, while the Golden State Warriors went form +1300 to +1200 after acquiring veteran point guard Chris Paul in a deal with the Washington Wizards.
That deal also sends Jordan Poole to the Wizards.
‘I’m excited,’ Paul, who is on a book tour, told The Charlotte Observer on Thursday. ‘I’m really excited.’
Paul also said that he’s already talked to Warriors star Stephen Curry. ‘It was good,’ Paul said.
The 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists this past season for Phoenix.
The Wizards agreed to acquire Paul from Phoenix last week, in the deal that sent Bradley Beal from Washington to the Suns.
Prior to Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets were favored to repeat as champions
After the Porzingis deal, however, the Boston Celtics leapfrogged Denver for the top spot
Denver’s odds at repeating dropped from +460 to +470, perhaps because of Bruce Brown’s decision to opt out of the final year of his contact this week.
Brown signed with Denver last summer and became an integral piece off the bench for the Nuggets. He can play either guard position or small forward and averaged 12 points and four rebounds in a postseason that culminated with Denver knocking off Miami in five games during the Finals to win its first NBA title.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone said at the Nuggets’ championship parade last week the team wants to keep Brown in their bid to defend their title.
But the Nuggets cannot offer him more than $7.8 million for next season; if he stays, Brown would be eligible for a four-year deal in Denver starting in 2024-25, with an initial salary of about $14 million.