NBA Free Agency Betting Preview
NBA Free Agent Betting Preview
NBA Free Agency begins today, June 30 at 6pmET. Teams can start negotiating tonight, but contracts won’t become official until July 6. This is not considered one of the top free agent lists in recent years. Things got worse on Thursday when James Harden decided to pick up a $35.6 million option to stay with Philadelphia. However, since he picked up the player option, it’s expected that he will be traded at some point. Let’s take a look at some of the top names and where they will end up according to Draft Kings.
James Harden’s latest odds have him being a +125 favorite to go to the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve Balmer and the Clippers love to go for the big names, but how does this make sense? (odds from Oddsshark).
Harden seems to want to go back to Houston (+600) and that’s the best. He’s one of the game’s best point guards and would do well as a facilitator and scorer for a young group of players.
Kyrie Irving is a free agent and he is a -500 favorite to re-sign with Dallas. But there has been talk that he wants to re-join LeBron James and take some ballhandling pressure off of him with the Lakers. Irving averaged 27.1 points and 5.5 assists last season so there’s no doubt, he hasn’t lost much at 31, but getting him to play without controversy or injuries can be a problem. I’d bet the Lakers or the Heat at +1000 as a longshot.
Russell Westbrook is -260 (DraftKings) to go to the Clippers and that appears where he’s heading. Let’s face it, most teams are not thrilled with a mid-30’s point guard who doesn’t shoot it well from deep and has lost a little from his full tank.
Dillon Brooks from Memphis is expected to leave after a horrific playoff performance. Brooks is a physical defender and can score, but his shooting can be hideous. Playing in another situation is probably what’s best for Brooks. He’s -900 to sign with Houston according to DraftKings, who it appears is going to sign everyone despite being a bad team. I’d take a look at Dallas at +1500, who needs toughness and defense. He could play a lot better off the ball with Luka Doncic, who does love dribbling it for most of the shot clock.
Another interesting player is Austin Reaves, who is a restricted free agent. The Lakers would like to re-sign him, but if they don’t, the San Antonio Spurs are the leader at +150 according to BetOnline. Reaves may not be a star, but he looked like one in the playoffs, averaging 16.9 points and 4.6 assists on 46.4% shooting from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc in the regular season. This may be a moot point since the Lakers are expected to match a competitive offer sheet, but what if the offer is outrageous?