How The Kevin Durant Trade Affects NBA Championship Odds

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
12 Feb 23
Betting Magazine
News - NBA
How The Kevin Durant Trade Affects NBA Championship Odds

Hot on the heels of trading All-Star Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, the Brooklyn Nets continued to deal on February 8th on the day before the NBA’s trade deadline, shipping out former MVP Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren to the Phoenix Suns. In return the Nets acquired young forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson as well as veteran Jae Crowder, four unprotected first-round picks, and a 2028 pick swap. NBA betting sites and betting apps have predictably had to change their NBA Championship odds table accordingly.

highlights

  • The Phoenix Suns pick up All-Star forward Kevin Durant as well as forward T.J. Warren in trade
  • The Brooklyn Nets acquire forwards Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Jae Crowder along with four first-round picks
  • Crowder already flipped to the Milwaukee Bucks by Nets in exchange for five second-round picks

NBA Championship Odds

After such a momentous trade, the NBA power balance has been completely turned on its head. Durant is one of the best players in the league—some say he’s the best period—and his addition by the Suns catapults them into serious contention for the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season according to fans, pundits, and betting sites everywhere. Here is how the NBA Championship odds table has changed since February 6th.

Team

Feb. 9th Odds

Feb. 6th Odds

Boston Celtics

+300

+325

Phoenix Suns

+400

+1870

Milwaukee Bucks

+475

+521

Denver Nuggets

+750

+695

Los Angeles Clippers

+1000

+1185

Golden State Warriors

+1200

+1145

Philadelphia 76ers

+1400

+985

Memphis Grizzlies

+1400

+1045

Dallas Mavericks

+1600

+1385

Cleveland Cavaliers

+2200

+2000

Phoenix Suns NBA Championship Odds

Prior to the Durant trade, the Suns were ninth in the NBA Championship odds table at +1870, but now they’ve shot up the standings to second with +400 odds, behind only the Boston Celtics. Without Durant, the Suns seemed on the brink of blowing it up and rebuilding, with only a 5.1 percent chance of taking the NBA title this season. Now that they’ve added Durant to the mix, they’re seen as four times more likely to win a championship, sitting with a 20 percent implied probability of winning it all now.

The Phoenix Suns had been having a difficult year up until this blockbuster trade, with discord seemingly rife in the locker room and guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker both missing significant time. Both are back in the lineup and healthy though, and now they’ve got a top five player next to them. Not only is Durant an excellent player who can score from 6’11” like nobody has ever seen before, but he brings championship experience as well, winning two NBA Finals MVPs during back-to-back championship runs with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

A starting lineup featuring Paul at the point, Booker at the two, Durant at the three or four, and DeAndre Ayton is quite impressive. They’re the clear front-runners in the West now, as evidenced by the Denver Nuggets, Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks all seeing their NBA Championship odds drop as a result of Durant’s move back to the Western Conference.

Brooklyn Nets NBA Championship Odds

The Nets are pretty much out of contention for the NBA Championship in 2023 after shipping out their top two players in a matter of three days. Before the Irving trade, they had the third best odds behind only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks at +715, which is a 12.2 percent implied probability.

After the Irving trade, they dropped to 11th on the NBA Championship odds table with +2200 odds and a 4.3 implied probability. Now, with Durant gone as well, they’re way out of the picture, sitting in 15th in the table with +8000 odds and a 1.2 chance of winning a chip in 2023. Talk about a fall from grace.

Way back in the summer of 2022, Durant had been the one to request a trade long before Irving did—though the latter is the one that gets the most heat—so it was clear that something was amiss in Brooklyn from the start of this season.

Not to mention the fact that they fired head coach Steve Nash only a couple of weeks into the campaign. Nash was replaced with interim head coach Jacques Vaughn, who was quickly promoted to the permanent post. Vaughn was doing a seemingly bang up job with the group, but the team’s prospects were apparently not good enough for the likes of Irving and Durant.

Now, the Nets begin a major rebuild, having acquired four first-round picks from the Suns and one from the Mavericks. Brooklyn has also acquired a whopping seven second-round picks after they flipped Crowder to the Bucks shortly after his acquisition from the Suns. They’ve also picked up some solid young players in forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson as well as veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The Nets won’t be terrible, but they also won’t be contending again any time soon.

Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including stops writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of the lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.