NBA free agency was one of the most interesting and exciting periods in the league’s history. There are plenty of teams that made moves to try and become a Finals contender, and there are a few that basically stayed put. I expect to see a lot of chaos this year, and I think the odds this year are very refreshing.
Los Angeles Clippers (+330)
The Clippers are the current favorites to win the NBA Finals in 2020 due to their major moves in the offseason. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were both added to this team without losing a lot of key current pieces.
George was traded to the Clips for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and a slew of picks for the next seven years. Gallinari and Alexander were both key pieces to the Clippers success, but George and Leonard are a clear upgrade in that regard.
This team already made the playoffs and then added an MVP candidate and a Finals MVP at the same time. Right now, I am avoiding this Clippers team at these odds because of the risks. The Western Conference is absolutely loaded, and they have two stars with a major injury history.
I think they could fall into the middle of the bracket and have to face 3-4 juggernauts in the playoffs, making this number too short right now.
Los Angeles Lakers (+400)
The Lakers were the other team to make a major splash in adding Anthony Davis to their team while trading away Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and a lot of picks. This trade gives the Lakers a more consistent team from night-to-night because AD should be reliable, but I am still hesitant overall.
Danny Green, Avery Bradley, KCP, Rondo, Cousins, and McGee is a very interesting supporting cast to Kuzma, Davis, and James, and these players are what I am waiting on. Green just wasn’t impressive with the Raptors last season, Bradley has had major injury concerns, and KCP has been very streaky his whole career. The other three are characters in the locker room, but I do expect them to play a major role.
Again, the West is too deep to take these numbers right now, so I will stay away from LA here.
Milwaukee Bucks (+500)
The Bucks lost in the Eastern Conference Finals and then lost one of their better players and remain high on this board. This team will basically come down to how Giannis develops. I think that this team doesn’t have enough isolation scorers to help Giannis against an elite defense, but that depends on if Giannis can ever shoot. If he does develop a respectable jumper, I would consider the Bucks at this price.
Houston Rockets (+700)
This team made a trade for Russell Westbrook while shipping off Chris Paul and a ton of picks. I think that this team did get better in this trade, especially in the regular season.
I don’t really think that they will be a championship-caliber team, but I do think they can compete for an elite record and a No. 1 seed. At that point, this price isn’t bad as a longer play with increased odds potential.
Denver Nuggets (+2000)
This team is my favorite bet on the board by far at +2000. The Nuggets return every one of relevancy from a team led by a 24-year-old and a 22-year-old to the second seed in the Western Conference. Almost everyone on this team should be improving from a year to year basis, and I think this roster has the ability to shock people or even make trades down the line.
Michael Porter Jr. was one of the best high school basketball players ever and has been forgotten about due to injuries. The Nuggets expect him to be back this season, and I think he is a clear Rookie of the Year candidate on a team which is missing an elite wing scorer.
Bol Bol, who was taken in the second round, was another elite talent that fell due to other concerns. If he can get on the court and stay there, Bol is a 7-2 center that runs the court extremely well, has incredible shot-blocking ability and shoots threes like a guard.
I absolutely love the Nuggets at +2000, and there is no way I am getting off this train anytime soon.