After a wild and unpredictable NBA Finals that ended with the Toronto Raptors winning the first championship in franchise history, we are heading into an exciting summer when some of the best players in the league could switch teams.
In fact, both teams that afforded us with a memorable Finals series, that included several nail-biters, could be in line for serious personnel changes.
With this in mind, we can take a look into the near future and try to assess the odds for those teams (as estimated by Sugarhouse Casino and other sportsbooks) to win the championship during the 2019/20 NBA season.
What happened in the Finals?
Golden State Warriors were seeking their third consecutive title and the offseason addition of center DeMarcus Cousins seemed to make them invincible.
Even as Cousins and later Kevin Durant got injured during the playoffs, the champions calmly ran over their Western Conference competition, largely because The Splash Brothers played amazing basketball.
On the other side of the bracket, the Raptors endured a couple of dramatic encounters with Philadelphia and Milwaukee, relying on their own offseason acquisition Kawhi Leonard to carry them to the finals.
Reaching the final round for the first time ever, the Raptors wasted no time racing to a 3-1 series lead by winning both games in Oakland, aided greatly by the ongoing absence of Durant and a fresh injury to Klay Thompson, who was forced to miss Game 3.
Durant returned for Game 5 (a tense Warriors win), only to severely injure his Achilles tendon. The series ended with a dramatic Game 6, which also featured a serious injury for Thompson.
What will Golden State and Toronto do next?
Three of the best players from this series (Durant and Thompson for Golden State and Leonard for Toronto) are unrestricted free agents, and two of them are likely out for next season.
This raises legitimate questions about the future of both franchises, especially if they are unable to hold on to their marquee stars.
The Raptors would undoubtedly love to lock Leonard long-term and build around him, breakout young player Pascal Siakam and experienced point guard Kyle Lowry, but they may have to seek plan B if things don’t go as expected with their superstar.
Golden State has already indicated it is prepared to give Durant and Thompson large contracts if they choose to stay, but other teams are also likely to come at them with max offers.
Cousins is unlikely to re-sign, while the Warriors bench was thin even before the injuries and will be difficult to replenish.
This possibly opens the doors for other teams, e.g. the LA Lakers after acquiring Anthony Davis, to gain the status of a favorite at Sugarhouse Casino, so keep following info about the odds and their promo code as the offseason moves start taking shape.