Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker have helped Miami improve its odds for the 2022 NBA title.
The Heat moved from +3500 to win the NBA Finals to +2500 after acquiring Lowry in a sign-and-trade from the Toronto Raptors and signing Tucker in free agency. The Heat currently sit as the No. 10 favorite for the NBA title and are now ahead of the Dallas Mavericks at BetMGM.
Miami will boast a likely starting lineup of Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Tucker and Bam Adebayo entering the 2021-22 season. Miami made the Finals in 2020 but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat were then easily eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this year by the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks had Tucker for the playoffs in 2021. And while they lost him to a title rival on the first day of free agency, the Bucks did retain playoff hero Bobby Portis on a relatively team-friendly deal. Milwaukee is at +850 to win the NBA Finals behind only the Brooklyn Nets (+230) and Los Angeles Lakers (+425).
The Lakers’ odds have gotten slightly better in the wake of their trade for Russell Westbrook. The Lakers were at +450 ahead of free agency and the team has also signed Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore as it shapes its roster around Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Bulls’ odds improve too
The Chicago Bulls are acquiring Lonzo Ball in a sign-and-trade from the New Orleans Pelicans and the Bulls’ odds got better after that move. Chicago moved from +12500 to +10000 after the reported acquisition of Ball.
Ball will team with Zach LaVine in the Chicago backcourt and provides a spacing threat for Nikola Vucevic on the inside. The Bulls would likely simply be happy with a playoff appearance after trading for Vucevic ahead of the 2021 trade deadline and failing to make the postseason.
Pelicans’ odds get worse
New Orleans made moves ahead of free agency to clear cap space to sign a point guard. At least we all thought that was the plan. The Pelicans traded Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe along with a 2022 first-round pick and some pick swaps in the 2021 NBA draft for Jonas Valanciunas from the Grizzlies. The move opened up cap space for this season and next and the Pelicans then failed to sign a guard like Kyle Lowry or Spencer Dinwiddie and also saw Ball go to the Bulls on a four-year-deal.
The Pelicans were at +8000 to win the title ahead of free agency. They’re now at +10000.
The Raptors’ odds also got worse too. Toronto’s pre-free agency odds hinged on keeping Lowry in the fold. Now that he’s gone, Toronto has gone from +10000 to +15000 to win it all.
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