Are the Cavs Offering Futures Value After Trade Deadline Moves?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland hit the reset button at the trade deadline. The Cavs moved six players and two draft picks in exchange for Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood. The team got younger and more athletic, which is a step in the right direction for a group that lost 14 of its last 22 games. The Cavs are better but are they worth a bet after the trade deadline moves?
To answer that question, we crowdsourced simulations from FiveThirtyEight, ESPN and NumberFire. The consensus projection gives LeBron & Co. a 1.3% chance of winning the title.
Cleveland’s odds vary from book to book: TheGreek lists them at +300, BetOnline +600, William Hill +700, 5Dimes +850, Sportsbook +1000 and Westgate +1200. Using the line at 5Dimes, the implied probability of a second championship for Believeland is 10.5%. Based on the projections, the Cavs should be closer to +7500, not +850.
General manage Koby Altman did his best (added shooting, shipped locker room distraction Isaiah Thomas and kept the Nets pick), but it is not enough. Cleveland is still the favorite (+155) to win the East, yet no one would pick (and more importantly bet) them in a series against the Golden State Warriors.
Speaking of the Dubs…
Curry, Durant and the Warriors have the best record (42-13) in the NBA and are the unquestionable favorites to win a third Larry O’Brien trophy in four years. The models give Steve Kerr’s team a 28.9% chance of repeating. The betting market is much higher on the team that is first in offensive efficiency and sixth in defensive efficiency. At 5Dimes, the Warriors are -207, a 67.4% implied probability. The 38.5% difference between implied probability and projected chance is the largest gap in the league. At their current price, Golden State is a pass.
Look past the defending champs in each conference and you start to find value.
Current odds: +720, Implied Probability: 12.2%
Rockets wins the title 25.0% of the time
The Rockets are nearly unbeatable when James Harden and Chris Paul both play. Houston is 25-3 this season when the duo is on the court together, which includes a 2-0 mark against the Warriors. Houston is only one game back of Golden State for the 1-seed in the West, but the organization’s top priority should be getting its stars to the playoffs healthy.
Current odds: +1500, Implied Probability: 6.3%
Raptors wins the title 22.0% of the time
The Raps have the most efficient offense in the East, scoring 110.2 points per 100 possessions and the third-best defense in the league (102.6 points per 100 possessions). Toronto is a game back of the Celtics, a team they just beat 111-91, for the top spot in the conference. Home-court advantage would be huge as the team is 23-4 at Air Canada Centre, the best home mark in the NBA. Clearly this is a squad to watch in the East, the knock of course is that they are 0-2 against the Warriors, their most likely Finals opponent. Still, at +1500 this is the best longshot with a legit chance of winning a title.
Photo via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports