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Offseason Moves Shake Up 2019 NBA Title Odds

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Big-time free agent signings and blockbuster trades continue to rock the 2019 NBA championship odds, with the latest shakeup coming on the heels of this week’s deal that sent Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio to Toronto in exchange for DeMar DeRozan.

The franchise-altering deal has had a dramatic impact on the Raptors’ odds to win the NBA championship, with Toronto vaulting to +1800, well ahead of the +6600 odds they sported in late June, while the Spurs have taken a step back to +6600 after entering the offseason as a +2000 wager on the 2019 NBA title odds.

The Raptors are coming off their best regular-season performance in franchise history, winning 59 games and claiming their fourth Atlantic Division crown in five years. However, the club’s notorious postseason struggles continued this spring, with the Raptors falling to Cleveland for a third straight year.

A nine-year veteran, who has spent his entire NBA career in Toronto, DeRozan emerged as the face of the franchise while leading the team in points per game in each of the past five seasons.

The four-time all-star point guard’s defensive shortcomings, though, became painfully evident in the Raptors’ abbreviated playoff run, particularly in the club’s second straight second-round loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in four games, setting the stage for DeRozan’s departure.

Leonard brings his own baggage to Toronto after an injury-plagued season in which he suited up for just nine games with the Spurs. The 2014 NBA Finals MVP has also been vocal about his desire to join either the Lakers or the Clippers in his home town of Los Angeles.

However, with Leonard on board, and James departing Cleveland for the Lakers, the Raptors have once again emerged as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference, and currently sit as a +400 bet to claim their first-ever berth in the NBA Finals.

The news is not so good in San Antonio. In addition to losing Leonard, the Spurs have also parted ways with veteran point guard Tony Parker, who recently signed a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets, and must also contend with Western Conference rivals that have bulked up through major free agent signings.


Lakers Rise on Odds to Win the NBA Championship

The arrival of James in Los Angeles has given the Lakers an immediate boost on the 2019 NBA championship odds, where they trail only Golden State and Boston as a +700 bet. However, the Warriors wasted no time in countering the Lakers’ move, with a bold signing of their own, inking big man DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal, and cementing their position as heavy -175 favorites to win a third straight NBA title.

Cousins averaged an impressive 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game last season with the New Orleans Pelicans, but was limited to just 48 games by a torn Achilles tendon that required season-ending surgery, and has played more than 59 games just once in the past five seasons.

The Celtics sit second to Golden State as a +550 wager on the NBA championship odds, while the Houston Rockets follow at +750, and the Philadelphia 76ers lag at +1600.


*Odds as of July 20, 2018

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