Nets’ 2020 NBA Title Odds Slashed After Day 1 of Free Agency
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The Brooklyn Nets won free agency before it even began. A little less than an hour before the start of the new NBA season, news broke that the Nets had agreed to deals with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.
Brooklyn is making a clean sweep tonight: Brooklyn will sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
Oddsmakers began shortening the Nets’ 2020 title odds the previous night when it appeared imminent that Irving was joining Brooklyn. Their odds swung from +2700 on Friday to +2000 on Saturday. And by Sunday night, when news broke that Irving, Durant and Jordan all were on board, oddsmakers had shortened Brooklyn’s odds to +1200, fifth best in NBA betting.
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Odds Cut Despite Durant Injury
Durant, of course, is expected to miss all of next season as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles suffered in the NBA Finals. But Irving and Jordan are significant additions to a team that won 42 games a year ago and will bring back most of their core. D’Angelo Russell is the only one not returning, but the Nets will gladly take the upgrade in Irving at the point.
Jordan isn’t the same player he was on Lob City with the Clippers, but he’s still one of the game’s better rim runners and rebounders (13.2 per game last season). If nothing else, he’s an excellent mentor for rising star Jarrett Allen, who enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign last season.
The Nets weren’t done, either. They also agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with veteran wing Garrett Temple. He was a solid two-day player for the Clippers last season and should provide important bench minutes for Kenny Atkinson’s group.
Free agent guard Garrett Temple is expected to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets, a source told ESPN's The Undefeated. Team option second year.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 30, 2019
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NBA East Increasingly Top-Heavy
The Nets will have competition in the East, of course, but they were the clear winner on Day 1 of free agency. This came at the same time that the Bucks also lost guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers, while it’s becoming increasingly likely that Kawhi Leonard won’t resign with the Toronto Raptors.
That could open the door for the Nets, who now boast one of the best and deepest teams in the East.
Irving and Durant could also have a domino effect on the Nets’ free agency plans, which oddsmakers likely took into account. Veterans chasing rings late in their career may take discounts to join Brooklyn. Lastly, there’s always a chance that Durant could return sooner than expected, especially if the Nets play deep into the postseason.
Adding a healthy Durant midway through the playoffs is a scary thought for a team that already looks to be one of the best in the conference on paper.