When the Celtics reportedly traded for Malcolm Brogdon and secured a commitment from soon-to-be free-agent Danilo Gallinari on Friday, they did so hoping to get over the title hump. They might have done that, at least in the eyes of some.
The Celtics became the favorite to win the NBA title in 2023 on multiple sportsbooks on Friday. They have +550 odds to win the title on DraftKings Sportsbook and +500 odds to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy next June on FanDuel Sportsbook.
In the opening 2023 NBA title odds released following the Celtics’ 2022 NBA Finals loss to the Warriors, many sportsbooks had a cluttering of teams at the top. None of them though listed the Celtics as the favorite, with most either having the Warriors or Clippers as the favorite to win it all in 2023.
It’s certainly reasonable to see why the Celtics could be seen as the favorite to win it all next season. For starters, they were just two wins short of winning it all this past season with a relatively young group.
But Friday’s reported additions cover the areas that Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and head coach Ime Udoka said they wanted the team to improve on during the offseason. Brogdon will bring additional playmaking, likely off the bench, averaging 6.3 assists per game over the last three seasons. He’s also a plus-shooter, shooting 37.6 percent from deep over his career, and joined the elusive 50/40/90 club in the 2018-19 season.
Gallinari also brings the veteran shooting presence that Udoka said he wanted on the Celtics. He’s a 38.2 percent 3-point shooter in his career, shooting over 40 percent from deep in four of his 13 seasons.
The other title contenders grouped with the Celtics haven’t made any substantial additions so far this offseason. The Warriors have actually lost a couple key players, with Gary Payton II going to the Trail Blazers and Otto Porter Jr. going to the Raptors, though they reportedly added Donte DiVincenzo. The Clippers added John Wall after he was bought out from his contract with the Rockets. The Bucks will reportedly sign 34-year-old wing Joe Ingles while the Suns could lose center Deandre Ayton.
The looming trade of Kevin Durant will certainly shake up the title odds once again, though. The Suns and Heat are reportedly two of Durant’s top choices and if either team gets him, they would likely either pass the Celtics as the favorite or move very close to them. A potential Kyrie Irving trade could also shake up the title odds, too, depending on where he lands.
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