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Thursday, 24 August 2017 01:36

Title Odds Unchanged for Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers Following Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas Trade

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Despite the monumental trade yesterday, Vegas believes that the Celtics’ and Cavs’ NBA championship odds remain the same.

It’s August 23, the NBA is on fire, and it has nothing to do with the heat of summer.

The trade – first reported by The Vertical’s Shams Charaniaand later detailed by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman– has been agreed upon.

The Boston Celtics will acquire Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and in exchange, the Cavs get Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

How will the title odds be affected for the top two teams in the Eastern Conference? The odds are broken down on this page.

Irving had previously asked to be traded on July 21, well after the NBA draft as well as much of free agency, not to mention following trades of big-time superstars like Chris Paul, Paul George and Jimmy Butler.

Despite still sporting the NBA’s most valued assets, Boston never seemed to be the right destination for Irving, an often times aloof score-first superstar. That is until Danny Ainge identified an opportunity to gain an advantage and win a trade (at least in his eyes).

Cleveland – who sensed they were running out of trade partners for Irving – receives a mixture of win-now pieces and future assets in the deal. Thomas will have an extra-large chip on his 5’9 frame, while Crowder will certainly provide toughness, versatility and a more than capable backup wing for LeBron James, and although Zizic looked downright dreadful in summer league play, his quick turnaround from overseas play had something to do with it.

Ainge will be hoping the Nets improve from their 20-win season a year ago (one that netted the Celtics the No. 1 pick), especially with players like Michael Porter and Marvin Bagley (projected top picks and impact players) able to declare for the draft.

The trade strangely makes sense for both sides. The ripple effect for both Cleveland and Boston may not have changed Las Vegas’ stance on both teams after Tuesday’s trade.

Here are Boston’s title odds before the trade and after the trade: 10/1; 10/1*

Here are Cleveland’s title odds before the trade and after the trade: 4/1; 4/1*

*According to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Manager Jeff Sherman

For reference, the Celtics were at 15/1 prior to signing Gordon Hayward on July 4.

Vegas knows, and they know that James is almost a lock to go to the NBA Finals no matter the opponent. He’s been to the NBA’s grandest stage seven straight seasons. The last time King James wasn’t playing deep in to June was all the way back in 2010, when the Celtics matched up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Golden State Warriors (5/11 odds), of course, are the favorites to repeat, while the Spurs (8/1) have the third-best odds to win. The Rockets (25/1), Thunder (25/1), Wizards (40/1) and Timberwolves (40/1) lurk as outside contenders.

Although title odds may not have moved, the MVP odds involving key components from this trade have:

Cory Prescott

Cory Prescott is the Editor at Large for Boston Celtics coverage on CLNS Radio. 

Cory is a graduate of Susquehanna University, graduating with a degree in Communications - Journalism.  While at Susquehanna, Cory spent three years as the sports editor for the school's weekly newspaper.  He also worked for the Crusaders Athletics Communications Department.

Following graduation, Cory spent time writing for the Maine Hockey Journal, as well as Boston Sports Then & Now, in addition to his own blog, Brain Freeze.

A native Mainer, Cory has been residing in Boston for the past few years.

Follow Cory on twitter @CLNS_Prescott.