Odds on Kevin Durant’s Next Team Released
Odds On Kevin Durant’s Next Team Released
Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world when he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets prior to the start of free agency. One of the best pure scorers to ever pick up a basketball requesting a trade with 4 years left on his contract is unprecedented and promises to return a haul of players, picks, and whatever assets at a team’s disposal back to Brooklyn.
Of course, with such a major transaction seemingly inevitable, the sports betting world has been sent into a tizzy with major sports betting apps rushing to get odds up. “You can find odds on Kevin Durant’s next team on many of the online sportsbooks we work with,” said Pat Corkery, a betting expert at the sportsbook review site SportsbooksOnline.com. “With the growth of sports betting in the US in recent years, many of them have been looking to incorporate betting features such as these, so they can capitalize on all the buzz surrounding the trade rumors.”
Now, we can break down the five most likely landing spots for Kevin Durant to start next season, provided by DraftKings Sportsbook as of July 5th.
Phoenix Suns (-125)
Go to the team that had the best record in the NBA and then a disastrous playoff loss in a 7 game series? That doesn’t sound like something Kevin Durant would do!
In all seriousness, Phoenix does seem like the favorite for Durant at the moment. A sign-and-trade involving restricted free agent DeAndre Ayton and lockdown perimeter defender Mikal Bridges would have to be the centerpiece of the trade, with who knows how many other assets necessary. Due to CBA restrictions, Devin Booker and Ben Simmons are not allowed to be under contract with the same team, so he would not be eligible to be included in this trade unless Simmons was getting sent away from the Nets as well.
In any case, it seems unlikely that Phoenix would want to part with their best homegrown player in exchange for the 34-year-old Durant. The clock seems to be ticking on this one, with Ayton eligible to sign an offer sheet from another team at any moment. If the Suns want Durant, they’ll need to act quickly.
Toronto Raptors (+250)
In another case of history possibly repeating itself, the Raptors could find themselves on the verge of trading for yet another disgruntled superstar demanding a trade.
On July 2nd, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Raptors were “lurking” around the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, which caused their odds to skyrocket. “This one has been the fastest riser,” Sportsbooks Online’s Pat Corkery said. “Even a Woj grenade, so to speak, can make a huge impact on the betting markets.”
It makes a lot of sense, given the fact that Masai Ujiri did a similar deal for Kawhi Leonard in the past and that they have an attractive potential centerpiece in Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. Plus, given the Raptors’ recent history of winning, they have a culture that Durant may accept if trade talks between the two sides progress.
If Durant is traded, Toronto may very well be his most likely landing spot.
Brooklyn Nets (+700)
With the reported extremely steep asking price for Durant, this very well may be the most realistic scenario. Unless Durant mimics the behavior of previous disgruntled stars like Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, and James Harden, Brooklyn has every reason to call his bluff until they get the offer they want.
“It’s important to remember that these bets are based on where Durant will start the season – not where he’ll end it,” said Corkery, “He could very well begin the season with the Nets and end it somewhere else if Sean Marks looks to replicate Daryl Morey’s strategy with Ben Simmons last season. There, Morey was patient and ended up getting the star he was looking for in return instead of settling for a package of role players.”
With the odds where they are, this just might be the best bet on the board. It’s hard to measure up to the package the Nets want and they won’t sell short on KD and only get 50 cents on the dollar.
Golden State Warriors (+1,400)
NBA Twitter couldn’t do better than this one, but it also seems just about impossible to pull off on several fronts.
Curry and company just proved they can win a title without Durant, and they don’t really have the firepower to pull off a trade like this. Andrew Wiggins is a good player and James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga are interesting young prospects, but they probably don’t have the blue-chip centerpiece to pull off a trade for Durant, despite some reports that his old teammates have been reaching out to him.
Plus, you have to remember the human element of all this. Even though he probably shouldn’t have left in the first place, would Durant feel comfortable teaming up with Steph, Klay, and (especially) Draymond after they won without him again?
“When you’re thinking about this bet, you have to remember that – even though he has multiple years on his contract and no no-trade clause – Durant has more leverage than it seems. Historically, these star players usually end up getting traded to a team they want to go to, if we think of recent history involving Anthony Davis and James Harden (twice).”
Is this the best bet if you’re looking to make money? No. Is this the best bet for memes? Definitely.
Miami Heat (+1,400)
Similar to Golden State, it seems hard to imagine the Heat being able to swing a trade of this level with the trove of assets at their disposal.
Maybe Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo could be the centerpiece of a trade package for Durant, but would he want to go to Miami if either of those two leaves? Plus, Adebayo and Simmons can’t be under contract on the same team due to CBA restrictions, just like with Devin Booker.
Maybe a 3-team trade could be in play here? This begs the question that a wise man once asked – what’s going on in Utah?
The Jazz just unloaded Rudy Gobert in the first step of what very well be a teardown. All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell may be next on the block if Danny Ainge is looking to blow it up.
Maybe there’s something to a trade that sends Simmons to Utah, Adebayo and Mitchell to Brooklyn, and Durant to Miami. A long shot if I’ve ever seen it, but hey why not live a little?