The Toronto Raptors are the kings of the basketball world after winning the 2019 NBA Finals, but they are not the favorites in the eyes of Las Vegas to be the last ones standing next season.
According to ESPN.com’s David Purdum, Caesars Sportsbook lists the Golden State Warriors as the favorites to win the 2020 Finals:
Purdum noted that the odds are likely to change after Warriors star Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 Finals on Thursday.
The odds may also change significantly over the next two weeks with free agency looming.
Golden State faces an important offseason, as both Thompson and Kevin Durant can test the market this summer. Should they remain in the Bay Area, their impact next season will be limited. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thompson is not expected to be ready until February or March, while Durant’s status for the entire 2019-20 campaign is in doubt after he ruptured his Achilles on Monday.
“That price is them keeping Klay with KD possibly coming back for a postseason run,” Caesars senior oddsmaker Alan Berg said prior to Thompson’s injury, per Purdum.
The Warriors have earned the right to be among the favorites by making it to five consecutive Finals, but between free agency and injuries, they will have their work cut out for them next season.
The Lakers own the second-best odds despite their current six-year playoff drought. They are a team to keep an eye on, though, as four-time NBA MVP LeBron James has a full offseason to recover from his groin injury. Not only that, but Wojnarowski recently revealed that L.A. is the “leader in the clubhouse” in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes.
Meanwhile, teams like the Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, (+1200) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1200), Boston CelticsNew York Knicks(+1200) are among the biggest enigmas as they wait to see how free agency unfolds.
Toronto’s chances of a repeat may depend on retaining two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who has been linked to his hometown of Los Angeles. Philadelphia awaits four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler’s decision. Boston is expected to attempt to re-sign six-time All-Star Kyrie Irving, who has been tied to the Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, and is also reportedly making a run at Davis.
In other words, the league is far from settled at this point in time.