Vegas open Knicks among 2020 NBA title favorites, believes Kevin Durant is coming to New York
The Knicks have two max-salary spots available and could well end up with the No. 1 overall pick
Las Vegas' Westgate SuperBook has opened the New York Knicks, who had the worst record in the NBA this season, at 16-1 to win the 2019-20 NBA championship. That's the sixth-best odds of any team in the league. Have a look:
These odds clearly reflect the increasing belief that the Knicks are in for a big summer. With two max-salary spots available on their books, the Knicks are considered by many to be the favorite to land Kevin Durant along with another of this summer's high-profile free agents -- which include Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Tobias Harris and Khris Middleton, among others. From ESPN:
Jeff Sherman, who oversees NBA odds at the SuperBook, believes the Knicks are the favorites to land Durant this summer and created their title odds accordingly. Sherman said the Knicks would be somewhere in the range of 300-1 if they aren't able to land Durant or another of the high-profile stars who could be on the move this offseason. If New York does land Durant and Kyrie Irving, Sherman said he would still have the Bucks with better odds than the Knicks.
As you can see, the Warriors are still the favorites to win next season, but their odds have certainly been tempered from the runaway favorite they've been in seasons past.
"Before Durant, [the Warriors] were still the best team," Sherman told ESPN. "Even if Durant comes back, we'll make an adjustment downwards, but they won't be [odds-on] favorites like we've seen in the past couple years. We'll obviously bump them up if he leaves, but it's kind of a middle ground now dealing with this team."
All of these odds reflect the very fluid NBA landscape right now. If the Celtics trade for Anthony Davis and re-sign Kyrie Irving, there's a good chance they would shoot to the top of the board. The Lakers are down there at 20-1, but what if they get Kawhi? Sherman saying the Bucks would still have better odds to win the title than the Knicks even if New York does land Durant and Irving is very interesting. The Bucks don't have the cap space to add a max free agent. That's a lot of belief in Giannis and that team, and it's clearly assuming they at least re-sign Khris Middleton.
So again, all this is fluid. But the Knicks, who had the worst record in the league this season, opening with better title odds than all but five teams is certainly noteworthy. Remember, they also could land the No. 1 overall pick. That's Zion Williamson. That's a lot of leverage to perhaps go pursue a third star to pair up with two max free agents. Indeed, the Knicks have a huge opportunity in front of them this summer, an opportunity more and more people are starting to believe they'll seize, and these odds reflect that.
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