The dust has slowly begun to settle on the NBA’s free-agency period, so now feels like a good time to check in on the NBA championship odds for 2022-23.
Specifically, three teams who are woefully disrespected by oddsmakers. This is not to imply that these clubs are legitimate title contenders. Instead, their chances of winning are well beyond the level their current odds suggest.
Sacramento Kings: +49000
The Kings have failed to make the postseason for 16 years, but that streak may finally end following what has quietly been a solid offseason.
In addition to hiring Mike Brown as its new head coach, Sacramento selected Iowa forward Keegan Murray with the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old certainly looked the part in Summer League, leading all players at the California Classic in scoring (19.7 points per game) and finishing second in rebounds (8 rebounds per game).
Just an incredible sequence from Keegan Murray pic.twitter.com/p5mfSblKKH
— Kings Film Room (@SacFilmRoom) July 5, 2022
General manager Monte McNair added to the club’s offensive depth, signing sharpshooter Malik Monk to a two-year, $19 million contract and acquiring Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kevin Huerter.
At +49000, oddsmakers are unfairly holding Sacramento’s near two decades-long stretch of irrelevance against them. As things stand, a potential starting five of De’Aaron Fox, Huerter/Monk, Harrison Barnes, Murray, and Domantas Sabonis deserve far more respect.
Cleveland Cavaliers: +12000
The Cavaliers were the league’s feel-good story before injuries derailed their promising start to the 2021-22 season. That said, when healthy, Cleveland was a top-five seed in the Eastern Conference, thanks to the brilliant play of All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen and an impressive rookie campaign from forward Evan Mobley.
The Cavs will also welcome back shooting guard Collin Sexton, who missed all but 11 games last season due to a torn left meniscus. A team on the rise, Cleveland is significantly undervalued at its current +12000 title odds.
Portland Trail Blazers: +12000
Blazers management has put notions of a rebuild in the rear-view mirror, acquiring former Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant on the eve of the NBA Draft and securing a much-needed second scoring option alongside superstar Damian Lillard.
Portland then selected guard Shaedon Sharpe with the seventh overall pick, a player some analysts believe possesses the highest upside of this year’s class.
General manager Joe Cronin also addressed some of the Blazers’ defensive woes, prying Gary Payton II away from the Warriors on a three-year, $28 million deal. And if that wasn’t enough, the team was able to re-sign promising guard Anfernee Simons, as well as center Jusuf Nurkic.
It may not be enough for a title, but it would be shocking if Lillard and Company were not still playing come playoff time.
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