It was a busy NBA Trade Deadline, and one of the trades including Tobias Harris to Philadelphia 76ers.
After trading for Jimmy Butler in November, the 76ers added a massive piece to their roster, one that many people think was an All-Star snub in 2019. Harris has been averaging 20.9 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, and assists 2.7, all career highs.
The trade instantly cut the odds of the 76ers to win the East. Before the Harris trade, the 76ers were sitting at +350. They saw a 75-point drop to +275 after the deal was done, and their overall title odds were slashed from +1600 to +1400, then continued dropping to +1200.
If you look at the odds for the Eastern Conference, it’s a 4-horse race. The Toronto Raptors lead the way at +200, Milwaukee +225, with Boston and Philly tied in third at +275. From there, the odds skyrocket for fifth, with Indianapolis sitting at +3300 (entertaining because the Pacers are only 4.5 games back).
While, no, Philadelphia isn’t the favorite, they’re now, odds-wise, nearly level to the best in the East. 6 games behind the leaders of the East, Philly could definitely still catch Milwaukee. Unlike the West that has to contend with the supremely talented Golden State, the East is generally up for grabs.
Admittedly that feels weird to say because the Bucks and Raptors both have 42 wins on the year, but the talent level is much more even. The Pacers’ odds to win the East become an incredibly good bet seeing that they’re sitting in third place at 4.5 games behind Milwaukee.
But this isn’t about the Pacers. This is about the 76ers, and the fact that they’ve slashed the odds against them to win the East with an excellent trade. The addition of Harris creates a massive core 4 for Philly with Joel Embiid, Ben Simons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris.
JJ Redick is the third on the team in points per game, which makes him a natural fifth starter. The aging shooting guard looks like a key member of the team, not being considered one of the big stars. Both early February games where Redick didn’t play, the 76ers lost.
Well the Clippers certainly have one less weapon to deal with, which means that the Lakers have a chance to move ahead of them now. Lebron’s new team sits 2 games behind their cross-town rivals, and out of a playoff spot. Not a good look for a team featuring Lebron James.
Meanwhile, Golden State’s talent level is so deep that their odds sit at -222 to win the NBA title, despite not holding the best record to this point in time. Not wholly shocking seeing their roster is stacked better than an old school Backyard Baseball team.
There’s really not much challenge to the Warriors because of that. The 4th place Houston Rockets have the next closest odds to Golden State to win the West (-335 for GS) at +900, followed by the 3rd place Oklahoma City Thunder at +1300. The 2nd place Denver Nuggets check in with the fourth best odds of +1400, tied with the Lakers.