The NBA world is still reeling from Thursday’s Woj bomb that Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn. There is already some indication of where the 12-time All-Star prefers to be traded, and betting markets are adjusting title odds accordingly.
Phoenix and Miami are reportedly Durant’s top two destination possibilities, and the Suns are the betting favorite in some markets to become the fourth team he suits up for in his decorated career. The Heat are close behind, then there’s a steep fall off to the possibility of Durant simply staying with Brooklyn. He signed an extension last summer to remain with the franchise and has four years remaining on that deal.
The Nets were among the top title contenders at SI Sportsbook as recently as Thursday morning. The defending champion Warriors were the favorites at +500 and the Clippers, Celtics and Nets (once Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his deal) were all tied for the second-best odds at +600.
Now, Brooklyn has fallen out of the top 10 in some markets while the title odds for the Suns and Heat, who have both made Finals appearances in the last three years and were the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences this season, have increased considerably.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that it is “very likely” that the All-Star duo of Durant and Irving have played their last games in Brooklyn. However, they reportedly want to continue to play together, just not for the Nets.
If Durant’s time with the Nets truly is over, the franchise has just one series win to show for it. Brooklyn beat Boston in the first round of the playoffs in 2021 before falling just short against the eventual champion Bucks in the semifinals. The Nets were then swept by the Celtics, Irving’s former team, in the opening round of the 2022 playoffs after a year that saw the preseason title favorites trade away James Harden. Irving was available for less than half of their games and they had to go through the play-in tournament just to make a playoff appearance.
Wojnarowski cited an “acrimonious” relationship with Brooklyn’s front office as a factor in Durant’s request–as well as the Warriors, Durant’s former team with which he won two titles,--winning the 2022 NBA Finals.
“I think it’s the narrative that surrounded him that he dealt with in the aftermath of him leaving Golden State and then going on to win a title without him, contrasted with what has gone on in Brooklyn in these last three years,” Wojnarowski said Thursday night on SportsCenter.
Speculation will continue as the Nets field calls from dozens of teams around the league. Durant’s next destination has already become the story of the offseason. If or when a trade is made, the championship betting markets will swing even further accordingly.
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