Rumors were put to rest surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving this week as he opted into his $36.5m player option to rejoin the team next season.
However, the 30-year-old guard brings uncertainties around his health and availability, missing 152 of available games since he arrived in Brooklyn.
Irving was heavily rumored to be reuniting with LeBron James to join the Los Angeles Lakers this past week, but the Nets did not like any possible packages that the Lakers could offer as a part of a sign and trade deal.
So with Irving returning for at least one more year alongside Kevin Durant, are the Brooklyn Nets a viable title contender for next season? The latest episode of DraftKings’ ‘The Sweat’ helped address that sentiment.
“They’re an awful bet, they’re back down to +700 because indications are that Durant and Irving will be on the team. I doubt they finish the season with a bought-in Durant and Irving on that roster,” said a DK sportsbook analyst.
With two All-NBA caliber players such as Durant and Irving, the Brooklyn Nets have been talked about as perennial contenders in the East. However, due to injuries, the duo have only been able to achieve at best, a second round finish in the playoffs, failing to make an Eastern Conference finals over the past three seasons.
Their latest stint in this season’s playoffs ended in a 4-0 sweep by finalists the Boston Celtics.
However, with the free agency market due to open tomorrow, teams like the Nets have the ability to move players around via trades or through signing players to increase their chances of winning. This is why DK’s sportsbook analyst believes betting on next season’s champion is needless.
He stated: “Let’s see where some of these pieces fall. I know the Clippers, getting John Wall, moved them from +600 to +550. The odds movement we’re getting in the NBA let it fall where it may and lets see how it shakes out.”
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are the current co-favorites to win next season’s championship at +550, followed by the Boston Celtics (+600), Milwaukee Bucks (+650), Brooklyn Nets (+700), and the Phoenix Suns (+900).