Next Teams For Lillard & Harden? – Betting Odds
NBA Free Agency is just around the corner, and with the clock winding down to the initial frenzy starting on Friday, June 30, several players remain unsettled within their current situations – and big moves are on the horizon.
So, let’s dive into the latest “Next Team Betting Odds” for a few of the key potential movers around the league.
Next Team Betting Odds - Damian Lillard
In the aftermath of a meeting between the Blazers and Damian Lillard’s agent on June 26, in which Portland’ GM Joe Cronin reiterated that they “remain committed to building a winning team around Dame” – the Blazers have emerged as -300 favorites to retain their superstar.
Lillard has remained admirably loyal to Portland throughout this process, and there’s certainly no shame in that, but if Dame doesn’t run for the hills now, the wide majority of basketball fans will begin to question his drive and motivation as a player.
The Blazers finished 13th in the West with a record of 27-55 last season, and while newly drafted point guard Scoot Henderson is destined to develop into a premier talent, and could certainly use a mentor, Portland is still lightyears away from title contention – and the clock is ticking for Lillard.
The Heat linger closely behind at +200, followed by the Nets at +1000, and then the Sixers at +1200.
If Lillard and Portland decide to part ways, Miami certainly seems like the most realistic landing spot – not only because the 32-year-old desperately wants to walk into a “win now” situation, but because the Heat actually have the proper combination of assets to work out a reasonable deal with Tyler Herro and draft capital at their disposal.
The Nets could also make a legitimate push for Lillard, and maybe even make a slightly better offer than Miami, but would that make sense for either party?
The Nets punted away last season by shipping off Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant at the trade deadline for a weird mish-mosh of talented wing players, simply accumulating as much value as they possibly could in exchange for the superstar duo with clear intentions of pressing the reset button.
The Nets are a talented bunch and Brooklyn is a major market, but ultimately, if Lillard leaves Portland, it will be for a much better chance of winning a title.
In theory, if Philly is able to move Harden, and Miami decides to play hardball in negotiations for Herro, maybe the Sixers swoop in and steal Dame with a Tyrese Maxey-centric package at +1200 – but truth be told, if the Blazers choose to explore more options past Miami and Brooklyn, that could leave the door wide open for other teams to get involved in the Lillard sweepstakes.
Next Team Betting Odds - James Harden
James Harden exercised his $35.6 million player option with the Sixers on June 29 in hopes of finding an adequate trade scenario for the three-time scoring champ – with the Clippers and Knicks reportedly the first teams sitting at the negotiation table.
The Clippers are listed as surprisingly heavy -110 favorites to land Harden, followed by the newly interested Knicks at +175, a long-rumored return to the Rockets at +900, and then the Sixers potentially wearing the contract at +1200.
The Rockets slid down the board following the draft, as Houston appears to be satisfied with selecting Amen Thompson and Cam Whitmore in the first round – likely moving onto far less expensive free agent targets such as Brook Lopez and Dillon Brooks.
So, let’s talk about the Clippers. The idea of the L. A. trading for Harden may seem like a desperation heave in the closing seconds of a game – but that might be exactly what both parties are seeking right now.
The window is closing very fast on the current iteration of the Clippers with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George at the helm, and all things considered, their partnership would go down as a historical disappointment if it ended today.
But based on L. A.’s pursuit of Malcolm Brogdon in the midst of the Porzingis drama, the Clippers have indicated that they want to run it back one last time with Kawhi and PG, and they want to make some changes before the season begins.
While on the other hand, Harden’s desires are plain and simple, The Beard wants to get paid, but he still wants to make it seem like he’s chasing a title with his next move – and joining the Clippers would be the perfect disguise.
Rumor also has it that Russell Westbrook may be interested in returning to L. A. if they manage to strike a deal for Harden.
Staying with the Sixers was originally a realistic option for Harden prior to exercising his $35.6 million player option – with the assumption that they would try to re-work the deal in a way that benefits both parties.
However, now that Harden has officially opted into his disaster of a contract, and in his defense, made the best financial move for himself as an individual, the Sixers are steadfast on trading Harden – but that certainly doesn’t mean that Darryl Morey is willing to give him away for 50 cents on the dollar.
The Heat and Knicks both have the trade capital to acquire Harden, but it’ll be an awkward balancing act because the Sixers will likely try to avoid trading within the conference unless they get back another star in the deal -- and at the moment, some of their tradable assets are very difficult to assess.
Maybe the trade gets done by including a third team in the deal, but for the time being, sprinkling some change on Harden landing somewhere other than L. A. at plus money seems like a much better option than backing him to join the Clippers at -110.
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