After hours of drama on Gordon Hayward’s free-agency (in)decision, the former Utah Jazz forward finally chose to join the Boston Celtics on a four-year, $128 million deal. Hayward was the top player remaining NBA free agent available, and gives the Celtics that star they’ve been looking to add alongside Isaiah Thomas and company.
Are the Celtics now good enough to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals?
It’s certainly more possible now than it was entering the offseason, but Vegas still has the Cavs as the clear favorites to come out of the East at 13/4 championship odds.
The Celtics are now at 12/1 odds to win the NBA title, up from 15/1 entering the offseason. After seeing the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s easy to forget that Boston actually had the best regular-season record in the East.
Here’s a full look at the odds from the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 4, 2017
The San Antonio Spurs at 12/1 may actually be a surprise to some, but keep in mind they were up 23 points on the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals when superstar forward Kawhi Leonard got hurt. Gregg Popovich always finds a way to have his roster exceed expectations.
The Houston Rockets move up from 30/1 to 20/11 title odds with the addition of superstar point guard Chris Paul. Cp3 and James Harden in the same backcourt should make Houston a very fun team to watch, and a difficult team to knock out in the playoffs.
We also see the Oklahoma City Thunder rising from 60/1 odds to 30/1 after acquiring Paul George to pair with NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
And Vegas gives the Minnesota Timberwolves a 2.5% title chance following the Jimmy Butler trade.
How about the biggest fallers on the list?
The Los Angeles Clippers go from 30/1 to 100/1 after losing Chris Paul, the Indiana Pacers go from 100/1 to 500/1 after trading Paul George, the Chicago Bulls go from 100/1 to 1,000/1 (!) after trading Jimmy Butler, and the Atlanta Hawks go from 200/1 to 1,000/1 after losing Paul Millsap to the Denver Nuggets.
And the Utah Jazz after failing to re-sign Hayward? They move from 100/1 odds to 200/1 odds, and begin another rebuild after looking like a team on the rise.