The 2013-2014 NBA season is officially in the books which means it’s time to look ahead to the 2014-2015 season! (Bovada.lv) already has their NBA Championship odds up and we’ll be taking a look at those in a moment. This summer’s off-season figures to be another huge one with the likes of Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh possibly being free agents again. From all reports it looks like Carmelo will be opting out and become a free agent. The status of the other 3 is up in the air currently. They could all 0pt-in and play for the Heat another season. What those 4 players decide to do could once again end up shaping the NBA landscape. Let’s take a look at the top 5 teams (Bovada.lv) has listed with their odds.
I suggest bookmarking Basketball Betting to keep up with the various NBA roster changes throughout the summer and how these decisions affect the NBA Championships odds.
Miami Heat: 7-2 odds
Of course their odds are predicated upon the BIG 3 all returning. If the 3-headed monster of Lebron, Wade, and Bosh return that doesn’t mean a given championship obviously (as this year showed). Not only is it important that the 3 of them opt-in but what is even bigger is who is added around them. If the Heat are to improve their depth then the big 3 will have to take pay-cuts. The Heat showed during the finals they especially need some help on defense. Picking up a couple quality defensive guys could go a long way in shoring up the team and improving their chances to win the NBA title. There have been rumors of the Heat being interested in adding Carmelo Anthony to the mix, if (and that’s a BIG IF) Pat Riley can pull that off (with the big 3 included) and still be able to add some quality depth then this team will definitely be the odds on favorite to take the title for the 3rd time in 4 years.
San Antonio Spurs 5-1 odds
In winning the NBA title in such convincing fashion as they did the Spurs showed that they clearly are the best TEAM in the NBA. With their main core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili expected all back and with the emergence of Kawhi Leonard this team figures to be the head of the class in terms of team play yet again next season. Coach Gregg Popovich’s system is one of the best in sports today (and in the long term) and it continues to churn out great results. In winning the NBA Finals MVP Leonard showed he is on verge of superstardom. As long as the Spurs keep some of their bench guys their depth will most likely be unmatched in the NBA again next season.
Oklahoma City Thunder 13-2 odds
The Thunder fell short in the Western Conference Finals to the Spurs. This team will continue to be near the top as long as they have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Guard Thabo Sefolosha is an unrestricted free agent who the Thunder will have to consider re-signing due to his defensive nature. The rest of the roster remains intact but it would be a good thing for the team to add 1-2 more defensive-type players. Guard Reggie Jackson had somewhat of a breakthrough season and they should be able to count on him for more minutes and production next season.
Chicago Bulls 9-1 odds
The health of Derrick Rose is what the big story again will be for the Bulls next season. Despite the Bulls performing admirably well the last 2 seasons without him (he only played 10 games last season and was out the entire 2012-2013 season) he’s still the key to any kind of success they want to have in the playoffs. The team has shown they can get through the regular season with Tom Thibodeau’s coaching just fine without Rose but come playoff time the lack of a true go-to-guy is clearly evident. Joakim Noah had the best season of his NBA career as he won the Defensive Player of the Year award and was voted 1st team ALL-NBA and 1st team All-Defense. It’s looking like the Bulls will try to add another superstar piece to go along with Noah and Rose. There are reports that the Bulls would like to try to add Carmelo Anthony through free agency or Kevin Love via a trade. Either player makes the Bulls a much more formidable foe in terms of being championship contenders next season.
Los Angeles Clippers 9-1 odds
The Clippers are a very talented team but in this year’s playoffs they had to deal with the stigma of the Donald Sterling saga. Coach Doc Rivers kept them poised but they seemed to be lacking something (mentally) in their Western Conference Semifinals series defeat versus the Thunder. All 5 starters from this season will be back next season (barring a trade) but some of their bench players like Darren Collison, Big baby Glen Davis, and Danny Granger are all restricted free agents so they will have decisions to make in whether they let them go or match another team’s offer. Keeping the backup to Chris Paul, Collison, I think would be something that is necessary.
**Pick to win it all next season – San Antonio Spurs
With some of the game’s top players possibly becoming free agents again the league could be turned on its head but as long as the San Antonio Spurs keep with the system (and players) they have in place it’s mighty hard to pick against them. Their franchise continues to be the most stable in terms of coaching and key players. Gregg Popovich has already stated that next season Kawhi Leonard will actually have plays drawn up for him (which this season he did not) and if his emergence continues that spells doom for the rest of the league as long as Parker, Duncan, and Ginboili are there to support him. The Spurs are the team to beat next season but if the Heat can somehow find a way to work salary cap magic again and add ANOTHER superstar (like Carmelo) to their team then they will be right there as well.