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After a summer defined by rumors and wild swings in the NBA betting market, Kevin Durant appears to be staying in Brooklyn after all.
The team announced Tuesday that the 12-time All-Star has “agreed to move forward” with the Nets after Durant’s trade request in the hours before free agency fueled months of speculation about his next home. It also rattled the futures market, with multiple teams – including the Suns, Heat, and Celtics – seeing dramatic shifts in their title odds based on the sheer possibility of landing the former MVP.
Those deals appear dead for now, and the Nets are clear beneficiaries in the betting market. Brooklyn is back to +700 to win the NBA title at BetMGM
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The Nets were dealing as high as +4000 to win the NBA title earlier this summer
Still, that didn’t seem like the likeliest outcome as of Monday, when Brooklyn was priced around +700 to win the East and +450 to win the Atlantic Division at most shops. After Tuesday’s news, those odds have already been slashed to +350 and +200, respectively, though the Celtics remain the favorites in both markets.
Even Boston’s odds have moved in the wake of Durant’s about-face, as the C’s had recently emerged as potential front-runners to land the 33-year-old superstar. Their title odds were nudged from +450 on Monday to the current price of +500, while the 76ers (+1400) and Heat (+1600) both saw a similar shift after flirting with the Durant sweepstakes in recent weeks.
No team has seen a more dramatic adjustment than the Suns, who were once the clear favorites to land Durant after posting the NBA’s best record without him. Phoenix’s title price was as short as +450 in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s request, but that’s since settled to +1000 as of Tuesday.
Some of that movement – especially for those clubs in the East – is a product of the Nets maintaining the core of last year’s preseason title favorites. Assuming this saga is over, Brooklyn is set to roll out Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons for the first time in 2022-23, which has the potential to be one of the more lethal trios in the NBA if healthy.
Of course, if we’ve learned anything over the last two months, you can’t assume anything with this group.