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Brooklyn Nets 2021 NBA Championship Odds Improve to +270 After Acquiring James Harden from Rockets

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Jan 13, 2021 · 2:08 PM PST

James Harden
James Harden is headed to the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Brooklyn Nets are acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets and are now +270 to win the NBA Championship
  • Brooklyn is sending out Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Rodions Kurucs and Taurean Prince with a boatload of draft picks in a multi-team deal
  • See updated title odds for top contenders in the league following the trade below

The Brooklyn Nets are finally acquiring James Harden. Brooklyn is trading for Harden in a multi-team deal featuring the Nets, Rockets, Pacers and Cavaliers. A maximum of four first-round picks and three picks swaps are being sent to the Rockets by the Nets (with an extra pick from the Cavs).

Kevin Durant and Harden are reunited. Brooklyn has the big three they have craved since they acquired Durant and Kyrie Irving two offseasons ago.

Upon news of the trade, the Nets immediately saw their NBA Championship odds vault to +270, just behind the Lakers.

2021 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Lakers +260
Brooklyn Nets +270
Los Angeles Clippers +600
Milwaukee Bucks +700
Philadelphia 76ers +1800
Utah Jazz +2000
Boston Celtics +2100
Denver Nuggets +2100
Miami Heat +2100
Dallas Mavericks +2200

Odds taken on Jan 13 from FanDuel

Weight of Talent

The Brooklyn Nets have three All-NBA caliber players. No other team in the league can say that. Of course, that being three rather than two relies on the interest and health of Kyrie Irving, who has not been with the team for several days. On shear top tier talent, though, this Nets team is the most loaded since Durant’s Golden State Warriors. They have quickly become the heavy favorites to come out the East.

It would be naive not to question the fit, of course. Harden has dispatched star teammates at a concerning rate, including players he specifically demanded. There is no guarantee the Harden and Durant relationship will flourish on or off court, and there is even less certainty with Irving and Harden. After leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to lead his own team, Irving finds himself as the third option on the Nets.

He teamed up with Durant so they could lead a team together – how will Irving feel about Harden’s arrival?

Skepticism of this fit, as people and players, is inevitable. If they can figure it out, though, their ceiling is incredibly high. Brooklyn has two of the greatest scorers of the modern era and, when healthy, one of the league’s five best point guards. No one in the Eastern Conference has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with them in a seven-game series.

No Depth Remaining

That statement is only true if all three are healthy, if they find a system between the three and their defense is solid. The composition of this Nets roster has obviously changed drastically. At the start of the year, they had phenomenal depth. With Spencer Dinwiddie’s injury and this trade, they are suddenly very limited beyond their three stars.

DeAndre Jordan must be healthy and effective. Landry Shamet and Bruce Brown go from helpful bench players to integral rotation cogs. It could be argued their margin for error has narrowed as their ceiling as a group has soared. An injury to Jordan, Joe Harris, Brown or Shamet (let alone any of the big three) leaves a gaping hole on this roster.

Brooklyn should be the best offense in the league. They are going to need to be – they are going to have some rough nights on the defensive end with the Harden-Irving backcourt.

The Kyrie Question

Not only is this a gamble with the Nets’ future, this trade is putting immense faith in Kyrie Irving to return, and return at an All-Star level. Does Irving deserve such faith at this juncture?

This Nets roster without Irving is still very good. Harden and Durant alone will be a serious force, but they need a motivated, healthy and engaged Irving if they are to be serious title challengers. They no longer have LeVert or Dinwiddie to fill his minutes. Betting the Nets to win it all is relying on Irving to end his hiatus from the team and be the player he was with the Cavaliers on their title run.

The Kyrie question will put plenty of bettors off backing the Nets at this price and understandably so.

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