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NBA Title Odds – Pre and Post Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. What appeared to be a pretty quiet day got a bit frantic at the end and we were treated to a few notable moves that will impact the outlook for the 2015 NBA Title futures.

Below, we run-down the day’s action and give our take on how the 2015 NBA Title odds have been affected in light thereof.

To start with, here are the pre-deadline odds.

Pre-Deadline Odds:
Cleveland Cavaliers: 7/2
Golden State Warriors: 7/2
Atlanta Hawks: 6/1
Chicago Bulls: 8/1
Oklahoma City Thunder: 8/1
San Antonio Spurs: 8/1
Memphis Grizzlies: 12/1
Dallas Mavericks: 15/1
Los Angeles Clippers: 18/1
Toronto Raptors: 22/1
Portland Trail Blazers: 25/1
Houston Rockets: 28/1
Washington Wizards: 40/1
Milwaukee Bucks: 100/1
Phoenix Suns: 125/1
Miami Heat: 150/1
New Orleans Pelicans: 150/1
Indiana Pacers: 250/1
Charlotte Hornets: 275/1
Detroit Pistons: 300/1
Boston Celtics: 450/1
Brooklyn Nets: 500/1
Orlando Magic: 2000/1
Denver Nuggets: 2500/1
Utah Jazz: 3500/1
Sacramento Kings: 4000/1
LA Lakers: 5000/1
Minnesota Timberwolves: 5000/1
New York Knicks: 5000/1
Philadelphia 76ers: 5000/1

Now let’s run down who each team added/lost (ignoring draft picks), and assess the impact on the 2015 NBA Title odds.

Dallas:

Added: Amar’e Stoudemire.

Lost: no one.

The 6’10” Stoudemire averaged 12 points and 24 minutes in 36 games with the Knicks this year. He isn’t the dominant post presence he once was, but he adds solid depth to the Dallas frontcourt. He’s also still at a 19.6 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) this season, which is roughly equal to his second year in Phoenix and well above the 15.0 league average.

We see the Mavs moving from 15/1 (which is a 6.25% implied probability) up to 12/1 (7.69%) with the addition of Stoudemire.

Portland

Added: Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

Lost: Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and Victor Claver. 

Adding Afflalo looks like a decent move for the Blazers. He isn’t having a good year, shooting-wise, averaging just 42.8-percent from the field (versus 45.5-percent career); but he was still second on the Nuggets in scoring at 14.5 PPG, and is liable to raise his shooting percentage over the course of the year. And Portland didn’t have to give up anyone averaging more than 13 minutes or four points per game in order to get him

If he plays anywhere near to his potential, Afflalo will be able to both spell shooting guard Wes Matthews and take some scoring pressure off point guard Damian Lillard. The Blazers were 25/1 before the deadline (3.85% implied probability). With the addition of Afflalo, we have them moving up to 22/1 (4.35%).

Denver:

Added: Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver. 

Lost: Arron Afflalo, JaVale McGee, and Alonzo Gee.

The Nuggets will miss Afflalo’s offense, despite his poor shooting. McGee and Gee (who should star in a buddy comedy) weren’t seeing the floor much. None of the incoming players are impact guys. The Nuggets are building for the future. Denver falls from 2500/1 (.04%) to 3000/1 (.03%).

Washington:

Added: Ramon Sessions.

Lost: Andre Miller.

The Wizards picked up point guard Ramon Sessions from Sacramento in exchange for their own back-up point guard, Andre Miller. Neither player is having a good season, but Sessions (28) clearly has a lot more potential to help on offense (which is where Washington needs help) than Miller; and he also has a higher career Value-Over-Replacement (VORP, 1.2 to 1.0).

Though he’s only averaging 5.4 PPG this season, Sessions put up over 15 per game just last year (albeit in just 28 games) and he’s averaged in double-figures for the past eight seasons. Like Afflalo, we expect the veteran Sessions to start shooting the ball better as the season goes on.

The Wizards may miss Miller’s veteran presence in the playoffs but, all in all, we have the Wizards making a very modest jump from 40/1 (2.44% implied probability) to 38/1 (2.56%) now that Sessions is in the mix.

Sacramento:

Added: Andre Miller.

Lost: Ramon Sessions.

Miller hardly saw the floor in Washington this year, averaging just 12.4 minutes and 3.6 points per game. We don’t expect much production – on offense or defense – from the aging point guard in Sacramento. But Sessions was doing very little for the team this year, as well. The Kings stay at 4000/1 (.02%). 

Philadelphia:

Added: JaVale McGee and Isaiah Canaan.

Lost: Michael Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels.

Philadelphia just offloaded their best player and all they have to show for it this year is center JaVale McGee from Denver and second-year point guard Isaiah Canaan.

McGee, a six-year vet, is an interesting acquisition for the young Sixers; he’ll provide some help on the boards (Philly is last in the league with a -3.8 rebounding differential), while Canaan is a good point-guard prospect. But the loss of MCW will make this team worse at present.

It’s hard to drop from 5000/1, but the 76ers never cease to amaze. With MCW gone, Philadelphia falls to 10000/1 (.01%). 

Phoenix:

Added: Brandon Knight, Marcus Thornton, Danny Granger, and John Salmons.

Lost: Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis.

Wow. That is a lot of turnover for the Suns’ roster. Gone are two of their three star guards (Dragic and Thomas), and arriving is another guard who is better than both (Knight). The Suns now boast a backcourt of Knight and Eric Bledsoe. Pretty scary.

It remains to be seen how Knight, who was the focal point of the Bucks’ offense, will pair with Bledsoe. But, without Thomas to compete with for floor time (as Dragic had to do), Knight will still get his minutes and shots with the Suns.

Overall, we see this as a slight upgrade for the Suns; they have effectively offloaded Dragic’s poor attitude – and Thomas’ curious approach to the point guard position – in favor of Knight.

We don’t see the addition of Thornton/Granger/Salmons in place of Plumlee and Ennis having much of an impact this year. Both Ennis and Plumlee were bit players for the Suns in 2014-15, and Thornton, Granger, and Salmons figure to be the same.

When it’s all said and done, we have the Suns climbing slightly from 125/1 (.79%) to 120/1 (.83%) after today’s action.

Milwaukee:

Added: Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, and Tyler Ennis.

Lost: Brandon Knight.

The Bucks get younger, but not better – at least, not immediately. Knight was their leading scorer, and also led the team in VORP and PER. Unlike most pundits, we had some faith in the Bucks’ pre-deadline roster. Adding Carter-Williams may prove a brilliant move in the future, but we don’t think he can replace Knight yet. Milwaukee falls from 100/1 (.99%) to 150/1 (.66%). 

Miami:

Added: Goran Dragic.

Lost: Norris Cole, Shawne Williams, and Danny Granger.

Miami picks up some much needed scoring in the form of the Slovenian Dragic. It’s unclear whether Dragic will start or come off the bench in Miami but, either way, he’ll see a lot of minutes and should get his share of looks. The Heat are averaging just 92.8 PPG this season, third-last in the league. Adding a shifty scorer like Dragic could do wonders for their stagnating offense.

Cole, Williams, and Granger all played over 20 minutes per game for the Heat, but none was able to have a significant impact on a nightly basis. While the minutes will have to be filled by other players – and not necessarily better ones – we don’t see the outgoing trio taking many wins with them.

Miami jumps from 150/1 (.66%) to 125/1 (.79%).

Boston:

Added: Isaiah Thomas, Luigi Datome, and Jonas Jerebko.

Lost: Marcus Thornton and Tayshaun Prince.

Boston gets an upgrade to its backcourt with Thomas and doesn’t lose much in the form of Thornton or Prince. That said, defense continues to be the main problem for the Celtics, and Thomas isn’t known for his. Neither Datome nor Jerebko saw many minutes in Detroit and, when they did see the court, they posted sub-par stats on defense.

These are good moves by the Celtics for their 2015 prospects, but not great ones. We have Boston climbing from 450/1 (.22%) to 400/1 (.25%)

Detroit:

Added: Reggie Jackson and Tayshaun Prince.

Lost: D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler, Luigi Datome, and Jonas Jerebko.

The Pistons get a solid scorer in Jackson and a familiar face in Prince. But they had to give up double-digit scorer Augustin and sharp-shooter Singler in return. Jackson, who is averaging 12.8 PPG (while playing with Durant and Westbrook), will be able to replace the offense lost. And Prince’s winning pedigree should give Detroit a bump – at least in morale.

The Pistons are up from 300/1 (.33%) to 275/1 (.36%). 

Oklahoma City:

Added: D.J. Augustin, Enes Kanter, Steve Novak, and Kyle Singler.

Lost: Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins.

Oklahoma City loses Jackson, which is significant, and Perkins, which isn’t. Adding Kanter looks like a good move for a Thunder team that already dominates the boards, while Augustin can take over the backup PG role from Jackson without losing too much. The Thunder got marginally better at the deadline and move from 8/1 (11.11%) to 15/2 (11.76%)

Utah Jazz:

Added: Kendrick Perkins.

Lost: Enes Kanter.

The Jazz get considerably worse this year in the effective Kanter-for-Perkins move (they also got picks, of course). They were already at 3500/1 (.03%), but we drop them down to 4000/1 (.02%) now that the Turkish big-man has been shipped out of town.

Houston:

Added: K.J. McDaniels and Pablo Prigioni.

Lost: Alexey Shved and Isaiah Canaan.

Canaan is a nice prospect, but was only seeing 14 minutes per game. Shved was under six.  The incoming players aren’t anything to get excited about, though, at least not this year. Prigioni had 4.7 points and 2.4 assists in 43 games for the Knicks, while McDaniels was putting up 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in his first season in Philadelphia.

These moves aren’t going to have much impact on Houston this year. We keep the Rockets at 28/1 (3.45%).

Brooklyn:

Added: Thaddeus Young.

Lost: Kevin Garnett.

Once upon a time, a Kevin Garnett deadline move would have shook the world. How times have changed. KG was averaging under seven points in just over 20 minutes of action with Brooklyn. The Nets get younger and (in our opinion) a little bit better with the acquisition of Young. (Though both players had very average 14.9 PERs this year.)

Young was third in scoring on the T-Wolves, but won’t see the same minutes in Brooklyn playing behind Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee. On the whole, we don’t see the move changing the odds for Brooklyn. The Nets stay at 500/1 (.20%)

Minnesota:

Added: Kevin Garnett.

Lost: Thaddeus Young.

This is a feel good story for Garnett more than anything as he returns to where it all began. The 38 year old will have to log a few more minutes on the thinner T-Wolves, but we have faith he can basically replace the production that is departing with Young. We keep Minnesota at 5000/1 (.02%).

The Rest of the League:

Of course, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Even the odds for the teams that remained quiet at the deadline have been impacted by the moves of their nemeses.

See below for the full, post-trade deadline NBA Title futures. (If there is no indication of movement, a team’s odds have stayed the same.)

 

Post-Deadline Odds:
Cleveland Cavaliers: 7/2
Golden State Warriors: 7/2
Atlanta Hawks: 6/1
Oklahoma City Thunder: 15/2 (up from 8/1)
Chicago Bulls: 8/1
San Antonio Spurs: 8/1
Dallas Mavericks: 12/1 (up from 15/1)
Memphis Grizzlies: 13/1 (down from 12/1 due to OKC, Dallas, and Portland all moving up).
Los Angeles Clippers: 20/1 (down from 18/1 due to OKC, Dallas, and Portland all moving up).
Toronto Raptors: 22/1
Portland Trail Blazers: 22/1 (up from 25/1)
Houston Rockets: 28/1
Washington Wizards: 38/1 (up from 40/1)
Phoenix Suns: 120/1 (up from 125/1)
Miami Heat: 125/1 (up from 150/1)
Milwaukee Bucks: 150/1 (down from 100/1)
New Orleans Pelicans: 175/1 (down from 150/1 due to Phoenix and OKC – the teams NO is competing with for the eighth and final playoff spot – getting a bit stronger)
Charlotte Hornets: 275/1
Indiana Pacers: 275/1 (down from 250/1 due to Detroit’s move up)
Detroit Pistons: 275/1 (up from 300/1)
Boston Celtics: 400/1 (up from 450/1)
Brooklyn Nets: 500/1
Orlando Magic: 2000/1
Denver Nuggets: 3000/1 (down from 2500/1)
Sacramento Kings: 4000/1
Utah Jazz: 4000/1 (down from 3500/1)
LA Lakers: 5000/1
Minnesota Timberwolves: 5000/1
New York Knicks: 10000/1 (down from 5000/1 due to the season ending injury to Carmelo Anthony)
Philadelphia 76ers: 10000/1 (down from 5000/1)

(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)

 

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