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Nets Own Second-Best NBA Title Odds With Kyrie Irving Returning

With Kyrie Irving returning for another season, the Nets are tied for the second-best NBA championship odds at SI Sportsbook.

Kyrie Irving is back with the Nets and Brooklyn is again near the top of the championship betting markets after burning bettors just a few short months ago.

Irving and the Nets reportedly were at an impasse last week with the possibility he could be traded or enter free agency. Both Los Angeles teams and the Knicks were interested in acquiring the seven-time All-Star, and Irving also reportedly had a list of teams he would be interested in potentially heading to in a sign-and-trade.

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Boston Celtics at Brooklyn NetsCaption:Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center.

Instead, Irving is staying put—for now at least—after he opted into his $37 million player option Monday. That decision should also quell the team’s concerns of a possible Kevin Durant trade request in the offseason.

The Nets are tied with the Celtics at +600 odds for the second-best title odds at SI Sportsbook. The Warriors are the favorites to repeat at +500 odds.

Brooklyn, which was swept by Boston—Irving’s former team—in the first round, has better odds than other contenders like the 2021 champion Bucks (+700) and this year’s top seeds in the Suns (+850) and Heat (+1400).

Kyrie Must Show He’s Worth a Bigger Commitment

Faith in what the Nets can be if fully healthy has not been dampened after what’s been a disappointing run in the Durant-Irving era. The franchise has just one playoff series win to show for three years of Durant and Irving and parts of two seasons with James Harden, who was traded to the 76ers for Ben Simmons in February.

The Nets were the favorites to win the 2022 championship after coming close to upending the Bucks in the semifinals the previous summer, but flopped in 2022.

Injuries to all three stars (Simmons notably has yet to suit up for Brooklyn), as well as Irving not complying with New York’s coronavirus vaccine mandate, kept the team from reaching its lofty ceiling. The Nets finished as the 7-seed in the Eastern Conference and had to compete in the play-in tournament.

Availability—both due to injury and Irving’s vaccine decision—has ailed this version of the Nets since the star duo teamed up in the summer of 2019. However, COVID-19 restrictions that kept Irving off the court have been lifted and Simmons, who hasn’t played since the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals, will undergo back surgery.

Brooklyn’s championship odds represent the potential of this star-studded team, though the team’s first-round exit in the spring is a stark reminder of its floor.

2023 NBA Title Odds

Warriors +500
Celtics +600
Nets +600
Bucks +700
Clippers +700
Suns +850
Heat +1400
76ers +1400
Mavericks +1600
Lakers +1600
Grizzlies +1600

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