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2021-22 NBA Title Odds Post Draft

August 3, 2021
New NBA odds post draft

The 2021 NBA draft concluded July 29 and the theme, if there was one, was one of trades. The biggest, of course, was the pre-draft deal that sent Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles where he will become a Laker for the 2021-22 season. 

The Westbrook trade as well as other draft night trades and the draft itself have had an impact on the 2021-22 NBA championship odds. The shift in odds was more dramatic for some teams like the Lakers.

Lakers Big Move

When the initial NBA title odds for next season were released, the Lakers were as long as +600 to win. With the announcement of the Westbrook trade, LA’s odds shortened to +400. The Lakers suffered through an injury-filled 2020-21 season and were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Lakers lineup will now feature Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and role players like Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Los Angeles was among the biggest movers in championship odds, but they weren’t the only ones.

Warriors Back?

Stephen Curry isn’t getting any younger, but he is still the best long-range shooter the game has ever seen. Klay Thompson will return and, hopefully, stay healthy all season. Draymond Green is still around and last year’s No. 1 pick James Wiseman is a year older. Don’t forget Andrew Wiggins who averaged 18.6 points a game last season.

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Golden State had two picks in the top 15 – No. 7 and No. 14 – and used them to bolster a lineup in need. The Warriors took wing Jonathan Kuminga with the seventh pick and then added 6-6 guard Moses Moody with No. 14. Oddsmakers liked the Warriors draft so much they moved them from +1200 to +1000. The Warriors have missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, but that could change in 2021-22.

Pistons Rebuild

As expected, the Detroit Pistons selected former Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham with the first pick in this year’s draft. Cunningham is big at 6-8, can create and score, and is an outstanding passer. His passing skills weren’t on display as much last season for the Cowboys because he was needed more as a scorer. 

In Detroit, Cunningham will benefit from a young roster that includes last year’s draft picks Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. The Pistons also have young guard Killian Hayes. Cunningham should step in right away as the starter at the point giving him a great shot at capturing this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year.

With such an outstanding pick, the Pistons odds at winning next year’s NBA title should have improved, right? Absolutely not is how oddsmakers felt about the pick. Detroit remains among five teams that have been given +50000 odds to win it all next season. Orlando, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and Houston are the other four.

No Change at the Top

Not long after Milwaukee claimed its first NBA title in 50 years, the Brooklyn Nets were given the honor as the favorites to win the 2021-22 championship. The Nets were installed as favorites at +200 despite bowing out of the 2020-21 playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Milwaukee ousted the Nets in seven games. 

Brooklyn added to its star-studded roster with the selections of Cam Thomas in the first round and Kessler Edwards in the second. Thomas, a 6-4 guard from LSU, averaged 23 points a game in the SEC last season, something not many SEC freshmen do. Edwards is a 6-8 wing that score just like Thomas. The Nets remain +200 favorite to win it all next season.

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Fade Suns, Sixers

Philadelphia was working the phone lines hard prior to the draft looking at any takers for Ben Simmons. The Sixers could find no interest and ended up taking Tennessee point guard Jaden Springer. Philly also ended up with 6-11 Charles Bassey, a Nigerian by way of Western Kentucky. Even so, the 76ers odds shifted to +1600.

Phoenix, which lost to Milwaukee in the NBA Finals this past season, is not expected to get back. The Suns biggest need in the draft was a capable backup for C Deandre Ayton. When Phoenix lost Dario Saric to a knee injury, they were unable to spell Ayton against the bigger, more physical Bucks. 

The Suns did draft 6-10 Day’Ron Sharpe, but his rights were traded to Brooklyn. As it stands, the Suns have Ayton, JaVale McGee, and last year’s top pick 6-10 Jalen Smith who was unable to crack the rotation this season. Like Philly, Phoenix is listed at +1600 to win it all next season.