The city of Cleveland waited 52 years for a title, but no sooner had the confetti settled in celebration of the Cavaliers’ NBA championship than odds were being posted for next year.
The Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are the favorites to win their conferences and carry 9-1 odds of meeting again in a third straight NBA Finals in 2017, according to MyTopSportsBooks.com.
The Celtics were listed at 35-1 to win it all next season, ninth-best among the NBA’s 30 teams.
The Warriors are the title favorites at 22-5 followed by the Cavaliers at 5-1.
The Celtics have 10-1 odds to win the Eastern Conference, trailing Cleveland at 6-5 and Toronto at 11-2.
Near the bottom of the list are the Brooklyn Nets, tied for fifth-worst in the league at 100-1 to win the title. The Celtics can swap picks with the Nets in the 2017 draft or trade the pick for other assets.
Also thanks to Brooklyn, the Celtics control the No. 3 pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft.
They’ll probably miss out on the top two Rookie of the Year favorites in forwards Ben Simmons (13-3) and Brandon Ingram (11-2), but three players who have worked out or will work out for the Celtics round out the top five: guards Buddy Hield (7-1) and Jamal Murray (12-1) and forward Dragan Bender (15-1).
Whatever the Celtics do, their picks will join a group trying to capitalize on the prime years of players such as Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Evan Turner, who is listed at 15-1 for Sixth Man of the Year.
That’s not to say that the window will close that quickly: The odds that both Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett play next season are 6-5.