2021 NBA championship odds: Where Celtics stand as free agency dust settles

Darren Hartwell
·2 min read

2021 NBA title odds: C's a top-5 contender despite Hayward exit? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We can understand why Boston fans are down on the Celtics after Gordon Hayward walked away in free agency this weekend.

But oddsmakers still seem optimistic about the Celtics' outlook for 2020-21.

The C's entered Wednesday's 2020 NBA Draft with +1500 odds to win the 2021 NBA championship, as six teams boasted slimmer odds.

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After a flurry of free-agent activity over the weekend, those odds have shifted -- in Boston's favor. Here are the latest 2021 NBA title odds as of Monday morning -- provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Los Angeles Lakers (+250)

Milwaukee Bucks (+500)

Los Angeles Clippers (+575)

Brooklyn Nets (+600)

Boston Celtics (+1400)

Miami Heat (+2000)

Philadelphia 76ers (+2000)

Dallas Mavericks (+2500)

Denver Nuggets (+2500)

Golden State Warriors (+2500)

Toronto Raptors (+2500)

The Celtics' title chances actually improved from +1500 to +1400 despite Hayward signing a massive contract with the Charlotte Hornets and (seemingly) leaving Boston empty-handed.

Now, only four teams have better title odds than the C's, and only two in the Eastern Conference: The Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday-led Bucks and the Nets, who reportedly are angling to unit Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with James Harden.

The Celtics' leap is partially the result of circumstance: The Warriors had better odds last week but just lost Klay Thompson to a season-ending Achilles injury.

Still, the C's reportedly agreed to a pair of quality deals this weekend involving big man Tristan Thompson and guard Jeff Teague. Thompson gives Boston a much-needed frontcourt boost and a physical presence to battle the East's premier bigs, while Teague is an upgrade over Brad Wanamaker as Kemba Walker's backup point guard.

Forsberg: Where do Celtics go from here after Hayward's exit?

Jayson Tatum also agreed to his rookie-level contract extension Sunday night, ensuring he and Jaylen Brown will be Celtics for years to come.

Boston's roster may need further improvement if it wants to get over the East finals hump and reach its first NBA Finals since 2010. But oddsmakers clearly don't view Hayward's departure as a crippling blow for the Celtics.