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Knicks’ 2020 NBA Championship Odds Plummet to 80-1 After Missing Out on Durant & Kyrie in Free Agency

Julius Randle
Julius Randle was the biggest free agent get for the New York Knicks this offseason. Photo by @NBAonTNT (Twitter)
  • With no marquee names landed in free agency, Knicks title odds plummet
  • Main targets Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving land with Brooklyn
  • Who is the best bet to come away with a title in the East?

There’s bad, then there’s New York Knicks bad.

One of basketball’s supposed glamor franchises officially hit the skids Sunday, coming away with exactly zero of the marquee free agents that were available this offseason.

Not only that, their crosstown cousins from Brooklyn took their blueprint and executed it to a tee, inking both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

It’s not a surprise then that you’ll need a powerful set of binoculars to find their distant NBA Championship Odds.

2020 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Lakers +250
Milwaukee Bucks +700
Toronto Raptors +700
Houston Rockets +900
Philadelphia 76ers +900
Golden State Warriors +1000
Los Angeles Clippers +1200
Boston Celtics +1400
Denver Nuggets +1600
Brooklyn Nets +1600
New York Knicks +8000

*Odds taken on July 1, 2019

This summer had so much promise, enough so that the Knicks’ average odds were +2900 ahead of NBA free agency.

But, after missing out on everyone, they’re now +8000. Let’s get this out of the way right now – New York ain’t winning, and they ain’t for a while.

Knicks Are a Broken Franchise

Currently, there’s only one way that the Knicks can turn this around: RJ Barrett turning into young Dwyane Wade 2.0, and building around their homegrown star (for the sanity of Knicks’ fans, here’s hoping Barrett isn’t fellow Canuck Andrew Wiggins 2.0).

This should have probably been the plan with the previous iteration of this player, but New York jettisoned Kristaps Porzingis in an effort to hit a home run in free agency.

In typical Knicks fashion, though, they crippled their one positive (oodles of cap space) and it will cost them in the interim. They should have gone the way of the Nets, when they were in asset hell a little over three years ago, with their draft picks belonging to the Celtics.

Armed with only cap space and a plan (imagine that), Brooklyn dealt away any semblance of veteran talent for draft picks, and took on dead-weight contracts other teams were desperate to unload, so long as it came attached with a draft pick or young player with upside.

Instead, New York spent the money they carved out on Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington. At best, they have an outside shot at eighth. In the East. Glass-half-full Knicks fans will tell you these deals are all short term, so New York will again be a bidder for free agents next go around.

But so what?  With nothing resembling a plan, culture or roster enticing to any star player, what changes, other than the year?

Again, wishing RJ success and the best of health.

Who’s the Best Title Bet in the East?

There are two clear-cut favorites here, with two major caveats dangling as qualifiers. If Kawhi Leonard re-ups with the Raptors, they are loaded and ready for a repeat. It’s that uncertainty that leaves the defending champs at +700.

The 76ers actually have, on paper, the most dominant starting five in basketball – particularly on the defensive end. If you have faith in Elton Brand finding three useable bench pieces to form a coherent squad, the +1000 odds are enticing.

The Nets look like a high-risk, high-reward wager for 2020. Sure, Kevin Durant will likely miss all of this year, but a game Brooklyn crew made the playoffs last year, and just swapped D’Angelo Russell for Kyrie Irving. If Irving isn’t the headcase he was portrayed to be in Beantown, this squad is sneaky-good with a legit top-10 closer to bring it home.

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