In the latest development of quite possibly the most ridiculous NBA offseason ever, Russell Westbrook is headed to the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul and a handsome amount of draft capital are going back to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The latest Western Conference-shifting trade will put Westbrook and James Harden in the same backcourt once again. With Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker all still in the fold, that should put the Rockets squarely among the league’s contenders, right? The answer is apparently yes, but also maybe no.
Rockets see decent jump in Vegas odds
The news of the Westbrook trade prompted the following NBA futures from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to be released, with the Rockets tied for fourth place with the Philadelphia 76ers at 8/1 odds.
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
Another set of odds had the Rockets in similar territory at 9/1.
🏀 NBA Title Favorites
(post Westbrook for Paul trade)
... Thunder 250/1
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) July 12, 2019
Pretty good, right? Well, it’s definitely worth pointing out that the Rockets were still at 12/1 in the Westgate odds before the trade, a tie for fifth place with the Golden State Warriors.
That’s a decent bump, but it also came at the high cost of control over four of their future first-round picks and taking on the remaining four years and $170 million on the 30-year-old Westbrook’s contract.
Granted, the Thunder had to take on Paul’s three years and $123 million, which is probably the worse asset, but it still seems like quite the shake-up for a team to go from only 12/1 to 8/1. Pairing two of the last three MVPs in Westbrook and Harden is usually a good idea, but fit is definitely a question with two ball-dominant guards who both have defensive effort issues.
Who else had their NBA odds changed?
In addition to the Rockets, the Thunder (duh) and the Miami Heat were the other notable movers from the previous odds. Both went down at the Westgate.
The Thunder fell from a longshot 200/1 to an even more longshot 500/1, while the Heat, who were reported to be the other major player for Westbrook, went from 40/1 to all the way to 100/1.
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