NBA Futures 2021
California Dreaming: The Best NBA Finals Title Odds Lie Out West
The 2020 NBA Finals went perfectly if you are from Los Angeles. However, you only really got to experience joy this past season if you were a Lakers fan.
The Los Angeles Lakers won their first championship in ten years after they defeated the Miami Heat four games to two in the NBA Finals.
The 2020 NBA Finals was like a script perfectly-written for the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James took home his fourth championship and his fourth Finals MVP trophy thanks to help from Anthony Davis and a slew of other important role players. Unfortunately for the Heat, injuries to Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic made it almost impossible for Miami to pull off the upset over the LA.
Now that we are well into the off-season, teams are already making moves to set themselves up in a prime position to make a championship run in 2021. The Lakers and Clippers still remain two of the most heavily favored teams to win the 2021 NBA Championship, but is this where the best value for NBA futures odds lie?
The Brow & The Claw: Projecting the NBA Futures for the Western Conference
All eyes will be on California this season as the Lakers, Warriors, and Clippers appear to be on a collision course for NBA supremacy. The Lakers enter the season as the slight favorite to repeat as NBA champions, and when you look at their roster you can see why. The Lakers will bring back LeBron and Anthony Davis in an attempt to run it back and win back-to-back NBA Titles. However, the Clippers are still a force to be reckoned with in the West. Also, with the return of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, it looks like the Warriors are once again in a position to make a deep postseason run.
The Lakers are considered the team most likely to win the NBA Finals, with oddsmakers having the Lake Show listed as +360 favorites to secure the 18th title in team history. For the Lakers to repeat as champions, they will look towards the superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to once again dominate the Western Conference.
Los Angeles is not the only team to pay attention to out West, however. The Phoenix Suns have put themselves in an excellent position to compete right now after going out and making a trade to bring Chris Paul to the desert. Also, the Denver Nuggets are bringing back almost all their starters this coming season after making an impressive run to reach the Western Conference Finals last year. And of course, we cannot forget the Dallas Mavericks who have two of the most exciting young big men in the game in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
If you’re looking for a little “off-the-radar” sleeper to come out of the Western Conference this season, those sleepers may be found in the Denver Nuggets or the Dallas Mavericks (both teams are +2500 to win the title). The Nuggets have a pair of legit superstars in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. If Denver can continue to help young guys like Bol Bol and Michael Porter Jr. grow, then they will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time. Also, the Mavericks should start to be competitive once Porzingis is healthy enough to play again. If Dallas can land some vital role players, then watch out for the Mavs come playoff time.
If you’re looking for a real long shot with an abundance of talent, the Trail Blazers (+5000) and Pelicans (+5000) may also be worth a lotto ticket of sorts. The Blazers have one of the best ballers in the NBA in point guard Damian Lillard. The 30-year-old guard is one of the most ruthless players in the NBA today. The Pelicans meanwhile won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes last season and are looking to build on a productive 2019-2020 campaign. With Zion, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Eric Bledsoe, the Pelicans have a legitimate shot to make a deep playoff push this year.
Giannis’ Quest For Redemption: Projecting the Eastern Conference NBA Futures
Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming off of a career-best season that saw the Greek Freak take home the MVP award for the second straight year. However Giannis’ focus this season won’t be on repeating as league MVP, but rather getting redemption following a painful loss to the Miami Heat in the 2020 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The Bucks were clowned by the Heat, eventually losing the series four games to one. With the new additions of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee is in an excellent position to make a run at the NBA Finals.
With no clear favorite in the East, the path to the Bucks’ first NBA Finals appearance since 1974 seems to be much clearer. As a result, oddsmakers have listed Milwaukee as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference and as +600 favorites to secure the franchises 2nd ever NBA championship.
It also looks like the Nets will once again be competitive. Kevin Durant is expected to return to the court this season as he teams up with Kyrie Irving in hopes of leading Brooklyn to the promised land. With rumors swirling about Brooklyn potentially landing James Harden, the Nets have already become must-watch-TV in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
The 76ers are also looking to improve from last season. Philly was swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Boston Celtics, resulting in the firing of head coach Brett Brown. Philadelphia then brought in Doc Rivers to see if the former NBA Champion could get the 76ers’ ship back on the right path.
We also can’t ignore the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat. Both these squads return most of the players in their starting lineups. Furthermore, both of these teams represented the East in the Conference Finals. The Heat and Celtics have both reloaded their rosters and are ready to make it back to the NBA Finals.
Deep sleepers like the Indiana Pacers (+10000 to win the NBA championship) and the Atlanta Hawks (+15000 to win the NBA championship) figure to be improved from a season ago, but it does not appear as though they have the ammo to get past the top dogs in this conference.