NBA

Changing The Futures: How NBA Futures Odds Have Shifted After Draft, Free Agency

August 22, 2023

Changing the Futures is our ongoing series that examines the change in team and/or player futures odds before and after key events like a league’s draft or a period of free agency.

Ah, the joys of early summer, when some NBA teams can combine draft picks, trades and free agency signings to deliver optimism to the organization and the fan base.

In the span of a couple of weeks, teams that might have stunk or had a nice playoff run can bring in stars and/or productive players to raise their playoff — and maybe title — hopes.

Tipico oddsmakers have their eagle eyes on all of it and raise or lower the Finals futures odds accordingly. Let’s take a look at some of the teams that moved the needle, either up or down, and how some of the top contenders are looking after making their moves.

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Miami Heat (Moved from +2000 to win the title before draft/free agency opened to +950 now)

This year’s Finals runners-up are on the rise for what they may be about to do – trade for Portland Trail Blazers’ superstar Damian Lillard, an NBA 75th Anniversary Team player coming off a 32.2 ppg season.

On top of that, the Heat drafted highly regarded UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., who averaged 23.3 points and 9 rebounds in UCLA’s three NCAA Tournament games and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year.

Phoenix Suns (Moved from +800 to +650)

After getting Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards in a three-team deal June 24, the Suns now have three players who averaged more than 23 ppg last season – Kevin Durant (29.1), Devin Booker (27.8) and Beal (23.2).

San Antonio Spurs (Odds stayed at +15000)

Gregg Popovich’s team didn’t move the futures needle even after drafting 7-4 Victor Wembanyama, the French phenom who – according to most analysts – is the most can’t-miss pick since LeBron James in 2003. Aside from that, SA didn’t do much in the July feeding frenzy, except adding bench players Lamar Stevens and Cedi Osman from the Cavaliers for draft considerations.

Dallas Mavericks (Moved from +1300 to +2000)

Apparently keeping Kyrie Irving and adding former Net Seth Curry (9.2 ppg) and former Celtic Grant Williams (8.1 ppg, 4.6 rgp) hasn’t impressed oddsmakers. Maybe that’s because the combo of Kyrie and Luka Doncic were 9-18 and missed the playoffs after Dallas got Kyrie at the trade deadline. The Mavs drafted Duke shot-blocker Derrick Lively, perhaps to help make up for Kyrie’s terrible defense.

Los Angeles Lakers (Moved from +1100 to +1300)

This one is a bit tough to figure, after L.A. got 3-and-D free agent Taurean Prince for only $4.5 million and added solid Heat reserve Gabe Vincent, even though Vincent disappeared in the final three games of the Finals against the Nuggets. LA also re-signed Rui Hachimura (11.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and D’Angelo Russell (17.8 ppg, 6.2 apg).

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Sacramento Kings (Moved from +3500 to +4500)

Last season’s most surprising team re-signed multi-skilled big man Domantas Sabonis but didn’t make any other big splashes. They made a sneaky move by signing Euroleague MVP Sasha Vezenkov, who averaged 17.5 ppg and 7 rpg for Olympiacos last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers (Moved from +2000 to +3000)

The Cavs didn’t impress in their first-round series against the New York Knicks, and they haven’t added much to top stars Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland – the biggest name probably being Max Strus from the Heat. There are question marks around No. 49 draft pick Emoni Bates, so the Cavs’ offseason hasn’t been dazzling.

Philadelphia 76ers (Moved from +1300 to +1500)

Philly added dependable reserves in defensive specialist Patrick Beverley and re-signed big man Montrezl Harrell, but the team could be trading shooting guard James Harden imminently. It’s hard to see Philly – in its current form – getting past the Celtics or Heat in the East, so dealing Harden for more helpful players could be a shrewd move.

Golden State Warriors (Moved from +1100 to +1200)

It’s been an eventful offseason for the Dubs – getting rid of the highly talented but mercurial Jordan Poole and adding a guy who brings a Hall of Fame resume but hasn’t shown he can deliver titles – Chris Paul. Re-signing Draymond Green, which reportedly seems to be the case, kept the Warriors’ futures from staying pretty much where they were pre-draft.

Los Angels Clippers (Moved from +1400 to +1700)

Did the oddsmakers frown on the Clips re-signing Russell ‘Westbrick’? LA did trade for Kenyon Martin (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and drafted solid Missouri player Kobe Brown, who can shoot and play defense.

Milwaukee Bucks (from +600 to +700)

Last season’s most disappointing playoff team re-signed one of their big three in Khris Middleton, but rejoining the Lopez brothers, keeping Jae Crowder and adding Malik Beasley apparently didn’t sway the bookies — but they’re still one of the favorites.

Denver Nuggets (+460 to +460), Boston Celtics (+480 to +490)

The Nugs lost free agent Bruce Brown, who averaged 12 ppg in their championship playoff run, but were able to re-sign Reggie Jackson. But with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, the defending champs didn’t need to do much.

Boston’s big move was trading for Kristaps Porzingis, who averaged 23.2 ppg and 8.4 rpg for the Wizards last season. With many teams getting substantially longer odds to win the title next season, the Celtics only bumping up +10 seems like a nod of approval from oddsmakers.

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Alex Valdes
Alex Valdes is Web Content Manager at Tipico North America. He has written, edited and performed user and site analysis at MoneyTalksNews, NBC Sports, MSN, Bing, MSNBC, as well as newspapers and magazines.
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