As bettors prepare to wager on a rematch between the defending champion Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, you can already pick who will win the 2017 title at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. That’s right, the SuperBook already has future odds available on every team to win the 2017 NBA championship, led by the favored Warriors at 3/2 and second-choice Cavaliers at 5/2.
Golden State has not yet repeated as NBA champs this year but figures to keep its team mostly intact next season led by two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Meanwhile, Cleveland faces some potential changes with LeBron James possibly opting out of his current contract with the team again. However, James opted out last year too and still signed a new deal with the Cavs, as did teammate Kevin Love.
The Warriors have also been one of many teams reportedly interested in pending free agent Kevin Durant, who may leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for a better shot at winning a title after falling short in seven games against them in the Western Conference Finals. He will have numerous suitors, with Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards among his potential destinations.
The Thunder do have Russell Westbrook under contract for one more year, and they are listed as the 8/1 fourth choice to win the 2017 NBA title right behind the Spurs (6/1). Durant’s return to Oklahoma City is figured into those odds though, and losing him would obviously boost his new team’s chances tremendously.
San Antonio may not have future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan around if he chooses to retire this offseason, opening up a key spot in the frontcourt alongside last year’s top acquisition LaMarcus Aldridge. The aging Spurs desperately need to get younger, and adding the prize of this year’s free agency class would give them another star to pair with Aldridge, who left the University of Texas a year before Durant.
The Los Angeles Clippers are the only other team worth mentioning in the Western Conference at 16/1 to win next year’s NBA championship. The Clippers suffered through a number of injuries this past year, including the postseason when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both got hurt in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers (60/1). Assuming the Clippers do not trade Paul or Griffin in the offseason and can remain healthy next year, they still have the talent to compete with the best teams in the West.
In the Eastern Conference, Cleveland’s top competition looks to be the Celtics (20/1), Miami Heat (25/1) and Toronto Raptors (25/1). Boston has cleared enough salary-cap space to make a serious run at Durant while some rumors have James possibly returning to Miami whether he wins a championship with the Cavs or not. Toronto beat Cleveland twice in the Eastern Conference Finals but has to find a way to re-sign DeMar DeRozan, one of the rising stars in the league who is also a free agent.