And you thought the NBA offseason drama was over...
The Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly traded Russell Westbrook to the Rockets on Thursday night for Chris Paul and multiple first-round draft picks, a move that paired Westbrook with James Harden in Houston to form the league's latest "power duo."
The blockbuster deal once again upsets the apple cart in what already was a wide-open NBA. Shortly after the news broke, Jeff Sherman of SuperBook USA in Las Vegas posted updated 2020 NBA championship odds to reflect how the move affected the league.
2019-20 NBA Championship updated
LAL, Mil 9/2
Hou, Phi 8/1
Bkn, SAS, Ind 40/1
Tor, Sac 80/1
Mia, NO, Orl 100/1
NYK, Atl, Chi, Det 200/1
Min, Mem, Phx 300/1
Cha, Wsh, Cle 1000/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) July 12, 2019
But a closer look at the odds reveals how the Westbrook trade could help the C's. The Miami Heat (and new addition Jimmy Butler) reportedly were in the mix for Westbrook and had 40-1 title odds prior to Thursday but since have plummeted to 100-1 after missing out on the All-Star point guard (even as they may be in the running to land Paul).
In fact, only the Milwaukee Bucks (9-2) and Philadelphia 76ers (8-1) have better title odds than the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, which has thinned considerably after Kawhi Leonard bolted for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Brooklyn Nets initially had the same championship odds as Boston after landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant but now are listed at 40-1.
The Western Conference, meanwhile, is an absolute mess, with the Rockets bumping up to 8-1 odds but still trailing both Los Angeles teams.
Long story short: There's still a power vacuum in the East with Westbrook staying out West, and the C's are among the squads who could fill it.
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NBA title odds 2020: How Russell Westbrook trade benefits Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston