Celtics’ NBA Futures Odds Tighten After Kevin Durant Trade Rumors

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The NBA kicked off its offseason in style with multiple blockbuster trades and contract signings. In spite of the flurry of action, the biggest fish on the market remains. That “fish” is actually a mammal — a blue whale to be exact.

Kevin Durant trade rumors remain focused on scenarios where the 10-time All-NBAer lands in Boston Celtics green. The mere prospect of Durant pairing with Jayson Tatum prompted oddsmakers to shorten the Celtics’ 2023 NBA Finals odds. Boston had already been priced as next season’s favorites, even before the recent Durant news.

The Celtics’ odds have been adjusted to below +500 after the latest Durant-to-Boston buzz hit airwaves.

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Oddsmakers like the upgrades the Celtics have made this offseason. The Cs traded for veteran point guard Malcolm Brogdon, adding another quality ball-handler alongside Marcus Smart. They also signed power forward Danilo Gallinari, who adds size and three-point shooting.

But they may not be done dealing. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics proposed a trade package centered around dynamic two-way wing Jaylen Brown. Naturally, Brown wasn’t thrilled to be cast as trade bait, tweeting a simple “Smh”.

The rumor mill has been somewhat quiet in recent days, but that could change this week. Kevin Durant is expected to meet with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai this week.

Speculation is the best anyone can do until that meeting occurs, and even then, it may be difficult to extract the content of their discussion. The Nets begin preseason play on Oct. 3, so in theory there is plenty of time to swing a deal if Durant and Tsai can’t align.

The scenario of Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons suiting up for the Nets to start the regular season remains a tangible possibility. Some argue it’s their best card to play and a risk that’s worth the potential reward of contending for an NBA title. On paper, that’s a lethal core with quality supporting pieces in stow. In practice, rolling into the 2022-23 season with a trio of mercurial stars amounts to flirting with disaster.

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Betting Market Hedges on Nets’ Odds

Brown has averaged 22.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.1 steals across 181 games since 2019-2020. He’s certainly worthy of headlining a trade package that pries Durant out of Brooklyn. But while Brown is an All-Star, Durant is a league MVP, two-time Finals MVP, and future first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Basketball is more than just filling up the scoring column, but Durant’s 32.3 postseason points per game since 2021 engulfs Brown’s 23.1 playoff scoring average over the same span. And the eye test alone reveals Durant as a certified assassin on the basketball court. He ripped the hearts out of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in consecutive NBA Finals, and the Milwaukee Bucks faithful still has its heart stuck in its collective throat.

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Time will tell what a complete trade package entails — reports suggest the Nets will demand Marcus Smart and maybe Robert Williams III in a Durant swap. Some pundits consider that price prohibitive, but pairing Durant with Tatum, a two-time All-NBA producer and bona fide superstar, immediately forms the most terrifying duo in the game.

Naturally, the Brooklyn Nets are the other half of the equation, and they’ve yo-yoed up and down sportsbooks’ NBA oddsboards. Oddsmakers priced the Nets with short NBA title prices early in the offseason, but the prospect of the Nets dealing away Durant and (presumably) point guard Kyrie Irving threw their future into flux.

Despite the trade chatter, the Nets’ odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship are in the +1500 and +1800 range, as the betting market hedges against the possibility of Durant remaining in Brooklyn.

About the Author
Craig Williams

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based writer for Gaming Today, who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy sports, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.

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