The Celtics came up two wins short of an NBA title last season but the betting world is optimistic Boston can get over the hump next year after some offseason tweaks.
While the Kevin Durant trade market stands still for the moment, Boston has vaulted ahead to title favorites according to the latest betting odds on Covers.com at +500.
Here are the odds for the top five contenders along with some analysis of each team’s moves this offseason.
Celtics (+500): Boston was able to add a high-scoring guard to the bench in Malcolm Brogdon without giving up anything in the team’s core rotation. The signing of Danilo Gallinari also provides some added firepower in the frontcourt, giving Ime Udoka five legitimate options off the bench next season. The Celtics still need a backup center and wing but they look deeper than any team in the league.
Bucks (+550): The 2021 NBA champions are basically running it back with their roster from last season that fell short without an injured Khris Middleton in the second round against the Celtics. Joe Ingles was the team’s big free agent signing with the mid-level exception but he’s expected to miss much of the year as he recovers from a torn ACL. However, with Giannis in his prime and plenty of continuity across the roster, they will be in the mix in the East until further notice.
Warriors (+650): The defending champions lost a pair of key rotation players this offseason as Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors) and Gary Payton II (Blazers) found bigger paydays in their new homes. They did manage to land Donte DiVincenzo for mid-level money to help replace that duo but Golden State will be relying on some of their young talent (Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman) stepping up into bigger roles in order to repeat as champions .
Clippers (+700): After an injury plagued last season that saw them eliminated during the play-in tournament, the Clippers have the deepest roster in the Western Conference on paper. Their trajectory will largely be dependent on Kawhi Leonard’s recovery following a year off with a torn ACL but they have 11 legitimate rotation players in total and a ton of wings behind Leonard and Paul George that can contribute at a high level.
Suns (+900): After matching DeAndre Ayton’s offer sheet from the Pacers, Phoenix is essentially running it back like the Bucks after a second-round exit. They will be relying on the continued development of Ayton, Devin Booker along with emerging young talent in Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson to get them back into Finals contention once more after an ugly Game 7 loss to the Mavericks at home.