Bovada, a gambling agency in Las Vegas, released the odds of who will win the NBA championship in 2015. Below are the teams that lead the NBA with the best odds.
Cleveland Cavaliers: 7-2
LeBron James’ return to Cleveland gives the Cavaliers the best odds of winning the championship in 2015. However, the Cavs might not be done yet this offseason. Currently, the Cavs are working on acquiring Kevin Love for the final season of his contract. Love on the floor with Kyrie Irving and LeBron could be trouble for the Eastern Conference. Without Love, the Cavs still have Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. James, Wiggins and Irving are another dangerous trio that could suit up for Cleveland next season.
San Antonio Spurs: 9-2
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After winning the 2014 NBA Finals, the Spurs certainly deserve to be in the top spot, especially after re-signing Boris Diaw and Patty Mills this offseason to keep the majority of the team intact. Players such as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli are getting older, but the next generation of Spurs is emerging. Most notably, 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will be asked to take on a larger role to keep the older players rested. Gregg Popovich is back for the foreseeable future as well, so expect another championship run.
Chicago Bulls/Oklahoma City Thunder: 13-2
The Bulls added Pau Gasol to their roster which means their frontcourt, made up of Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, is both talented and deep. With Derrick Rose, the Bulls were once the best team in the Eastern Conference. If Rose is able to stay healthy, expect the Bulls to be one of Cleveland’s biggest competitors next season.
The Thunder lost one of their best defenders in Thabo Sefolosha. However, that shouldn’t be a problem if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on the floor. Durant and Westbrook are the centerpieces of the team, and Oklahoma City’s success depends on their performance. Look for Australian center Steven Adams to have a bigger impact in his second year.
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Los Angeles Clippers/Houston Rockets: 10-1
If the Clippers want to make it through the Western Conference, they’ll need Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to lead them. The Clippers did not make any significant additions this summer. They did add Jordan Farmar and Spencer Hawes. Farmar will be adequate as a backup for Paul, and Hawes is a big man who can stretch the floor with the three-pointer.
The Houston Rockets surely would have better odds if they signed Chris Bosh or re-signed Chandler Parsons. However, Bosh is re-signing with Miami and Parsons is headed to Dallas. Like the Clippers, the Rockets didn’t make a huge splash in free agency. They signed Trevor Ariza to play with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Ariza will be a decent role player but nothing more.
Golden State Warriors/Indiana Pacers: 20-1
The Warriors backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are more than capable of leading this team deep into the playoffs. They simply need a few more pieces. Golden State is currently targeting Kevin Love in a trade with Minnesota. If the Warriors can land Love, he will immediately be a force in the key. However, will the price of trading for Love actually hurt the team?
Indiana made it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, the Pacers revealed they might be weaker than everyone thought after almost losing in the first round to the eighth seeded Atlanta Hawks. Indiana’s odds may drop if they lose Lance Stephenson in free agency. He led the NBA in triple doubles last season. Don’t be surprised if the Pacers make a move this offseason to improve at the point guard position.