Durant and Kyrie to Brooklyn? What the NBA Free Agency Buzz Means for Futures Market
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kevin Durant
- The Kevin-Durant-and-Kyrie-Irving-to-NYC rumors are back in full swing, but this time they're centered around the Brooklyn Nets
- Matt Moore gives a lay of the land and explains the best way to bet, should the pairing come to fruition in Brooklyn.
Kendrick Perkins has been a popular dude the past few years.
The former NBA center was beloved in Boston, where he made his name and became close with Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett. The Cavs brought Perkins in when they re-signed LeBron James, and even though he hardly played a minute, he served as a veteran locker room presence. That’s how respected he is.
But in between there, he had a stop in Oklahoma City, and in that time he became close with both Russell Westbrook … and Kevin Durant.
Perkins is now starting to become a media personality for ESPN, making more and more appearances, and on Monday he weighed in on Durant’s free agency future on “The Jump,” alongside Brian Windhorst.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 24, 2019
The notables, here:
- The Warriors may re-sign Durant to a max deal and then work to trade him next summer, Windhorst suggests. That’s pretty clearly coming from the Warriors’ side.
- Perkins says, “It’s time for KD to move on.” There’s no way of knowing if this is purely Perkins’ suggestion or if its reflective of where KD and his camp are on the matter. It should be noted that Perkins said during the Finals that there was frustration from KD’s side about the Warriors’ treatment of his injury, but Perkins also said that he never specifically asked Durant about the injury.
- Both Windhorst and Perkins suggested that the Nets are serious players for Durant. We need to put that in perspective of recent Nets news.
For starters, the New York Post reported last week that the Nets have reservations about signing Irving on his own. That’s understandable given, you know, he pretty much detonated what was considered the league’s most successful rebuilding plan in Boston.
Now, on Monday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo reported that Durant won’t be pitchable in free agency … but he added that KD’s relationship with Irving could alter that:
— Amanda Borges (@aborgestv) June 24, 2019
It was rumored for months that Durant and Irving would be teaming up in New York for the other franchise, the basketball hazmat zone known as the Knicks. League sources were whispering as far back as March, though, that the Nets had become a target of interest for Irving and his camp. The thought then went that with Durant opening offices in New York for his media company, the Nets might be the destination.
Durant’s injury, of course, threw all that into further question.
Looking at the betting market makes all of this chatter even more interesting.
Reading the Brooklyn Nets Futures Market
The Nets moved to 20-1 to win the 2020 title this week, up from 25-1 a week ago. However … Durant will almost assuredly miss the entire 2019-20 season as he rehabilitates his Achilles rupture. That number may reflect a growing confidence in landing Kyrie Irving, but it wouldn’t make any sense for the odds to shorten if they were expected to sign a player who won’t be available all year.
Meanwhile, the Nets’ win total has remained stable at 47.5. They opened at 50.5 at PointsBet but then quickly dropped to 47.5, in line with DraftKings and FanDuel. Honestly, if they sign Irving and Durant, the under here feels like the best play: They’d be committing close to $70 million to a flat-earthing player with locker room issues and a player who is out for the year. Durant’s potential signing with Brooklyn should move the Nets to at least a no-bet until the issue is settled.
It’s bizarre, but that’s the way it is: The Nets may land two of the five biggest free agents this summer, and yet that may put more value on fading their short-term futures. Have I mentioned this summer is going to be nuts?
All odds as of 6:30 p.m. ET on Monday, June 24.