The 2013-14 NBA season begins at the end of October and the NBA Futures odds are now up on Top Bet Sportsbook. Here’s a quick overview of each team’s chances to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship:
Miami Heat (+250)
With free agency looming, the future of the Big 3 in Miami is in doubt; the present remains very bright though. Virtually the entire championship team returns as the Heat are overwhelming favorites to complete the three-peat.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+650)
Russell Westbrook’s injury dashed any championship hopes for Oklahoma City last year. But with Westbrook and Kevin Durant still young and hungry, the Thunder remain favorites to come out of the West.
Chicago Bulls (+900)
Derrick Rose will make his much awaited return this season after opting to sit out the entire 2012 season. He will once again carry the offensive burden for the Bulls who are expected to be the main competition for the Heat in the East.
San Antonio Spurs (+1,000)
San Antonio was one rebound away from a fifth NBA championship last June. With Duncan, Parker and Ginobli another year older, Kawhi Leonard must shoulder a heavier load if the Spurs want to return to the Finals.
Los Angeles Clippers (+1,000)
Doc Rivers’ arrival sealed Chris Paul’s signature, as well as the Clippers’ contender status. New arrivals JJ Redick and Jared Dudley will shore up the perimeter, but their incumbent big men must step up.
Houston Rockets (+1,000)
He may be out of LA, but the spotlight is still very much fixed on Dwight Howard. His ability to co-exist with James Harden will be the key to launching the Rockets up the West standings.
Brooklyn Nets (+1,000)
With the trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Brooklyn Nets have essentially gone all in on their chase for an NBA championship. Head coach Jason Kidd will definitely not be short on veteran leadership and experience come playoff time.
Indiana Pacers (+1,500)
Paul George and the Pacers made the leap last season and pushed Miami all the way in the playoffs. With the return of Danny Granger and the addition of Luis Scola, Indiana is poised to take another step forward.
Golden State Warriors (+1,800)
The Warriors made waves last season with their explosive offense, led by the dead-eye shooting of Stephen Curry. They now look to shore up their defense with the versatile Andre Iguodala.
New York Knicks (+2,000)
Metta World Peace and JR Smith are on the same team and are ready to be unleashed onto the entire league.
Memphis Grizzlies (+3,000)
Head coach Lionel Hollins may be gone, but Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and Tony Allen return to anchor the strong Grizzlies defense.
Denver Nuggets (+3,500)
A new coach could spell a new style of play for the fast-paced Nuggets. However they play, the Nuggets still possess a talented roster, led by spitfire point guard Ty Lawson.
Los Angeles Lakers (+4,500)
Nothing else matters except the return of one Kobe Bean Bryant.
Dallas Mavericks (+4,500)
Mavs owner Mark Cuban dreamt of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, but Dirk Nowitzki will have to make do with Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon to help him return to the playoffs this year. [sc:NBA240banner ]
Atlanta Hawks (+7,500)
The Hawks lost Josh Smith to free agency, but Paul Millsap is a capable replacement. They also opted to up point guard Jeff Teague to a long term contract.
Minnesota Timberwolves (+7,500)
Injuries to Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio have derailed Minnesota for the last two seasons. Time is running out for their two stars to stay healthy at the same time and show what the Timberwolves have in the two.
Portland Blazers (+7,500)
The Blazers addressed last season’s most glaring weakness: the bench. Using the draft (CJ McCollum), free agent signings (Dorell Wright) and shrewd trades (Thomas Robinson), the Blazers’ second unit should be markedly better.
Boston Celtics (+8,000)
And so the post-Paul Pierce era begins in Boston. New head coach Brad Stevens will rely on the likes of Jeff Green to hold the fort until the return of Rajon Rondo.
New Orleans Pelicans (+10,000)
The Pelicans expect an immediate return in their off-season backcourt investments Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, whom they acquired from Philadelphia for two first-round picks.
Cleveland Cavaliers (+10,000)
Despite its growing collection of top 5 lottery picks in recent drafts, the fate of the Cavaliers this season rests heavily on the health of star point guard Kyrie Irving. The health of Andrew Bynum could also prove crucial.
Utah Jazz (+10,000)
The Jazz have embraced the youth movement after allowing both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to leave in the summer. Promising youngsters like Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward will now get their chance to shine.
Sacramento Kings (+12,500)
After weathering the threat of relocation, Sacramento can now look forward to another season of basketball. Ben McLemore is the latest talented lottery pick that new coach Mike Malone will need to integrate into the team.
Washington Wizards (+12,500)
The Wizards will lean heavily upon their talented backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal. They showed a lot of promise in spurts, but the challenge will be to keep it up for an entire season.
Toronto Raptors (+12,500)
The Raptors will rely on Rudy Gay to keep them in most games this year while Jonas Valanciunas continues his development.
Milwaukee Bucks (+12,500)
The Bucks revamped their starting backcourt, trading Brandon Jennings for Brandon Knight and signing OJ Mayo after letting Monta Ellis walk.
Philadelphia 76ers (+15,000)
With Nerlens Noel out, all eyes will be on Michael Carter-Williams to justify the 76ers’ decision to trade away their All-Star point guard.
Detroit Pistons (+20,000)
The Pistons got an influx of lefties after signing Josh Smith and trading for Brandon Jennings. It remains to be seen whether Smith will play with, or instead of, fellow lefty Greg Monroe.
Phoenix Suns (+40,000)
Eric Bledsoe was the main asset the Suns acquired during the three-way trade with the Clippers and Bucks. The speedy point guard will now get his chance to run a team in Phoenix.
Orlando Magic (+50,000)
No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo will get every opportunity to play and prove his worth this year as Orlando continues to reload with young talent.
Charlotte Bobcats (+50,000)
Free agent signing Al Jefferson will provide the Bobcats with a reliable and consistent low post scorer.[sc:NBA490banner ]
Who do you think will win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2014? Visit the Top Bet Sportsbook NBA Futures section to view the 2014 NBA Champions odds and place your bets today.
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