Perhaps the most talented player in the NBA has put himself on the open market, which has caused a seismic reaction across the basketball landscape and has immediate New York sports betting ramifications.
As NBA free agency started Thursday, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant told team brass to seek a trade and they are currently undergoing that process.
On the three-year anniversary of joining close friend and point guard Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, Durant asked out of the franchise that was meant for greatness on paper, but failed on the court.
Durant and Irving played 44 regular-season games together, had one playoff series win and no rings to show for it.
This all comes a day after Irving opted in for $36.5 million on the final year of his contract to return to the Nets.
Now Durant, and maybe both, are on the move out.
Oddsmakers Reacted Swiftly
The NBA betting markets are undergoing a flurry of activity with Thursday’s news as well.
BetMGM Sportsbook New York on Friday morning released updated future odds for the 2022-23 NBA championship.
As one of the top three favorites to win the title next season, the Nets opened at +700 to do just that, with the defending champion Golden State Warriors opening as the favorite at +550 and the NBA Finals runner-up Boston Celtics next at +650.
Now, the Nets’ number has skyrocketed to +3000, with 3% of the tickets held and 3.9% of the handle.
With the thought of Durant possibly going to Phoenix, the Suns opened at +900 and with Thursday’s news dropped to +550 (now the co-favorite with Boston), with 7.3% of the tickets and 9.3% of the handle.
Another possible destination for Durant’s services is Miami. The Heat opened at +1400 and have dropped to +900, with 3% of the tickets and 2.5% of the handle.
Lakers Making Big Jump, Caesars Reports
The Los Angeles Lakers, hoping to make some noise in landing Irving or Durant or having them join together, opened at +2200. That has been cut in half to +1100 with just the possibility of either one of those things happening. The Lakers are at 11% of the tickets held and 14.2% of the handle.
Caesars Sportsbook New York reported Friday afternoon that the Lakers were at 22-1 Thursday, but a surge of action on Los Angeles has brought the price down significantly.
According to Caesars, from 2:57 p.m. ET Thursday (when Durant wanting to go to the Suns was first reported) to 8 a.m. Friday morning, the Lakers drew 52% of the handle among all 2023 NBA title wagers at Caesars Sportsbook. That was 3.5 times more handle than the next-closest team (Suns) over that span. Phoenix led the way in tickets during that time frame at 22% to the Lakers’ 21%.
One New York bettor put down $10,000 on the Lakers at 22-1 on the Caesars Sportsbook app for a potential win of $220,000. The Lakers’ odds shift wasn’t a direct result of that bet, however, as the move to 10-1 came about 4.5 hours after that wager was received.
NewYorkBets.com has you covered on the NBA, especially with best New York sports betting promo codes.
"People always think the Lakers will end up with everybody,” said Eric Fenstermaker, senior trading manager at Caesars Sportsbook, in a news update. “I kept their odds up after the $10,000 bet because they don’t have anything to package, at least on the surface level.
“They have no future picks in the short term, and I don’t think many teams would want Russell Westbrook unless they’re tanking. The Nets may take him for Irving, but definitely not for Durant. But we kept getting $500 here and $1,000 there at 22-1 and they were really piling up the liability, so I dropped their odds below market to put a finger in the dam of Lakers’ bets for now.”
The fireworks are sure to continue over the weekend and into the new future.