Bulls Likely Worse, Knicks & Pacers Better in NBA Odds Following Trades
The 2015-16 NBA season ended on Sunday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a stunning comeback from down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to the record-setting Golden State Warriors with a Game 7 win in Oakland. That handed the Warriors their only three game losing streak of the year. Already, teams are looking ahead to next season, which will begin in late October. That all starts with Thursday’s NBA Draft. But two teams from Cleveland’s Central Division, Indiana and Chicago, made two very different trades on Wednesday that will affect their futures betting odds for next year.
Taking a Look at Why Bulls Likely to Get Worse, Knicks & Pacers Better in NBA Odds Following Trades
The first big deal was the Chicago Bulls sending native son, former NBA MVP and No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks for point guard Jose Calderon, center Robin Lopez and young guard Jerian Grant, a first-round pick of the Knicks last year. New York also got reserve guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick from Chicago.
In 2010-11, Rose led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals with a 62-20 record under Tom Thibodeau. Rose has had multiple knee injuries since 2011, the year he won MVP, derailing a career that had once seemed Hall of Fame-bound. The Knicks are taking a risk because Rose has missed many more games than he has played the past four years.
Rose averaged 16.4 points on 42.7 percent shooting and 4.7 assists in 66 games in 2015-16. The 27-year-old is owed $21.3 million in the final year of his contract. He will be a free agent after the 2016-17 season. The Knicks obviously think they can re-sign him next winter and Rose apparently is happy to go to New York. Both new Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and general manager Steve Mills had said that the team was interested in upgrading its point guard position in the offseason.
The Knicks have enhanced their most vulnerable position but now go into free agency without a starting center. Former Rockets center Dwight Howard reportedly has shown interest in coming to the Knicks. New York also could look at former Bulls center Joakim Noah. He is close with Rose and also grew up in New York.
Does this make the Knicks a title contender next year? No. They are still +7500. But it could be a playoff team if Rose stays healthy. New York should have a fine offensive team in Hornacek’s new system and with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in place. The Knicks will certainly hope to be active in free agency as noted above and are also considered a likely landing spot of forward Pau Gasol, who played the last two seasons for the Bulls. So the Knicks could be Bulls West.
Chicago is clearly rebuilding now and still could trade shooting guard Jimmy Butler, the team’s best player, during Thursday’s draft. Otherwise, this is now Butler’s team. Lopez is a solid player. The Bulls liked Grant in last year’s draft but the Knicks snatched him up first. Calderon is essentially a salary throw-in.
The other deal Wednesday saw the Indiana Pacers landing former All-Star point guard Jeff Teague from Atlanta. Indiana is sending point guard George Hill to the Utah Jazz, and Utah will send the No. 12 pick in Thursday’s draft to Atlanta in the three-way deal. Teague is certainly an upgrade on Hill so that makes Indiana better. It’s really a wash for the Hawks, who are +5000 on betting odds to win next season’s title, as they have Teague’s replacement in house in 22-year-old Dennis Schroder. The Hawks have to re-sign free agents Al Horford and Kent Bazemore and this opens up salary space. Hill is better than anyone Utah would have gotten with the No. 12 pick, at least for the 2016-17 season. I would call the Pacers the clear winners of this deal, however.