SPORTS

Celtics, Rockets, Thunder make moves to challenge on NBA futures

TAGs: Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, nba, Oklahoma Thunder

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are -150 favorites to repeat in 2018 and take home their third title in four years.

Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

With that out of the way, who will challenge the Warriors next season besides the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are listed as the +400 second choice? Cleveland is hoping to return to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight championship matchup with Golden State.

The Cavaliers might not have much competition in the Eastern Conference, but the Boston Celtics are undoubtedly the team with the most potential to upset them. The Celtics signed prized free agent Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat on Tuesday, improving their odds to win their 18th NBA title next year.

Boston is +1000 to win it all, tied with the Houston Rockets as the third choice in the league.

The Celtics and Rockets have made two of the biggest splashes since the offseason tipped off. Houston had previously pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire point guard Chris Paul on June 28, pairing him with MVP runner-up James Harden to create arguably the NBA’s best backcourt.

The Rockets are also reportedly one of the teams Carmelo Anthony is most interested in getting dealt to if the New York Knicks decide to finally trade him following the departure of Phil Jackson.

However, another Western Conference team that made a major trade was the Oklahoma City Thunder, who got Paul George from the Indiana Pacers for essentially one season. George is due to become a free agent next summer and has publicly stated that he is interested in signing with the Los Angeles Lakers at that time.

Regardless, the addition of George has made Oklahoma City the +2500 sixth choice to win the NBA title, right behind the San Antonio Spurs at +1200. The Spurs have not yet made any notable moves while the Thunder may surpass them on talent alone, with George teaming up with reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook for at least this year.

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