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Odds to Win 2018-19 NBA Championship: Raptors Odds Shrink After Landing Kawhi

NBA Championship Odds July 18

It may be the NBA offseason with franchises still trying to improve their rosters but no team is swinging for the fences more than the Toronto Raptors. The Raps have agreed to send Demar DeRozan to San Antonio for disgruntled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard in a bombshell move that has pushed Toronto to +1800 odds to win the NBA Championship.

Online sportsbook Bovada still has the Golden State Warriors as the -175 favorites to win it all followed by the Boston Celtics (+550), Los Angeles Lakers (+700), Houston Rockets (+750), Philadelphia 76ers (+1600) to round out the top five with the Raps right behind them at +1800.

Can the Raptors Use Kawhi to Springboard to East Title?

This is the definition of a “boom-or-bust” move for GM Masai Ujiri and Raptors' brass. There’s no denying Kawhi Leonard, when healthy, is a top-three player in the NBA with his ability to guard the best perimeter players and scoring touch around the rim. However, the enormous elephant in the room isn’t for the 2018-19 season (reports are Kawhi is not thrilled with being sent to Toronto) but for the following season when he’s a free agent. Ujiri is known to be a shrewd negotiator and could potentially convince Kawhi to stick around so it will need to be a wait-and-see for how this plays out.

For this exercise, let’s just forecast how the Raptors’ prospects are for the upcoming season and if Kawhi is engaged, they could be dangerous in the Eastern Conference. Leonard and forward OG Anunoby would be a wrecking crew on the perimeter for opposing offenses and could seriously challenge Boston and Philadelphia for the East crown. They may be worth a wager if you’re betting on the Eastern Conference winner but winning the NBA championship may seem far-fetched as this roster still isn’t in a position to seriously challenge Golden State. At +1800, the odds are a bit of a rip-off at this stage but Ujiri may not be done overhauling the roster.

Lakers May Still Be in Play for Kawhi at Trade Deadline

The ace still up Masai Ujiri’s sleeve is that he could potentially deal Kawhi at next season’s trade deadline and the one squad that has been linked to Leonard the most is the Los Angeles Lakers. Offseason reports had the Lakers as frontrunners to land the Spurs' forward as he made it well known that he wants to be in California. If LeBron and the Lakers are sitting pretty in the West after the all-star break, they could be huge players in the trade market to upgrade and potentially challenge Golden State.

New-Look Spurs Could Be Dangerous

This is obviously a dark day for the Spurs franchise who had a history of being the most well-run organizations in professional sports. Dealing your franchise player is never easy but the silver lining for San Antonio is they got Demar DeRozan in the deal who's not chopped liver. No. 10 is an elite offensive player who could thrive in Texas under coach Greg Popovich even though he is a tremendous defensive liability. The odds for the Spurs to win the championship are currently at +6600 and based on value alone, they could be serious contenders in the Western Conference with a happy all-star to pair with forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge.

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Odds To Win The 2018-19 NBA Championship

Odds as of July 19 at Bovada

  • Golden State Warriors -175
  • Boston Celtics +550
  • Los Angeles Lakers +700
  • Houston Rockets +750
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1600
  • Toronto Raptors +1800
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +4000
  • San Antonio Spurs +6600
  • Utah Jazz +9000
  • Milwaukee Bucks +10000
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +10000
  • Indiana Pacers +10000
  • Denver Nuggets +10000
  • Portland Trail Blazers +10000
  • Washington Wizards +10000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +12500
  • Dallas Mavericks +14000
  • Los Angeles Clippers +20000
  • New York Knicks +20000
  • Miami Heat +30000
  • Detroit Pistons +30000
  • Charlotte Hornets +30000
  • Chicago Bulls +30000
  • Atlanta Hawks +35000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +40000
  • Sacramento Kings +40000
  • Brooklyn Nets +40000
  • Orlando Magic +40000
  • Phoenix Suns +50000
  • Memphis Grizzlies +50000