How the James Harden Trade for Ben Simmons Has Changed the NBA Futures Odds

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How the James Harden Trade for Ben Simmons Has Changed the NBA Futures Odds
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No NBA trade was bigger this week than the blockbuster between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. Right off the top, I'll tell you, I think the Nets, by far, got the better end of the deal.

Getting Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and Ben Simmons. Plus, two first-round draft picks. To get those players and picks, they said goodbye to James Harden, who was not happy being in Brooklynn in the first place. In addition to Harden, Paul Millsap is out as the Nets and in with the Sixers.

Why the Nets Have been Disappointing

When the Nets acquired Harden and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They played a total of 125 games. The three of them played together in only 16 of those games. That means that the big three were only together for 13% of the 125 games that James Harden was on the team.

The Nets in No 16 games were 13-3 straight up. But it only covered five of those games against the spread.

The failure to win against the spread is simple. The public betting enthusiasm when they all were on the court together, thinking that they would automatically blow out the opponent.

The biggest take away I have from the trade is that the Sixers will no longer have Drummond as a backup to Joel Embid, who put in an excellent January and February for the 76ers. Drummond leads the league in rebounding percentage, grabbing 23% of the missed opponent shots.

According to Second Spectrum tracking, Ben Simmons ranked second in the NBA with 6.8 pass-ahead passes per game. There is so much Simmons brings to the Nets.

He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and can guard any player 1 through 4. Combined with Durant, who is arguably the best offensive perimeter shooter in the association, the Nets now have the best perimeter defender and best perimeter scorer in the league.

What it Means for The Sixers

The 76ers are going to have one of the best “inside-outside” combinations in the NBA. A stat that is commonly looked at is called usage rate, and that is equal to the percentage of a team's possessions a player has used: field goal attempts, trips to the line and turnovers while on the floor.

Embiid currently has the fourth-highest usage rate in the past 26 years. Opposing defenses will be hard-pressed to double either he or Harden, because if they do, it leaves one of them open or a player on the perimeter with an open 3-point shot attempt. The 76ers have become the best of offensive teams in the Eastern Conference.

How the Trade Changed the NBA Futures Odds

Below with the current odds from The BetMGM Sportsbook to win the NBA championship.

Odds for NBA Championship

Team Odds
Brooklyn Nets+450
Golden State Warriors+450
Phoenix Suns+450
Milwaukee Bucks+650
Philadelphia 76ers+700
Miami Heat+1100
Utah Jazz+1400
Chicago Bulls+2500
Memphis Grizzlies+2500
Denver Nuggets+3000
Los Angeles Lakers+3000
Cleveland Cavaliers+4000
Dallas Mavericks+4000
Boston Celtics+5000
Atlanta Hawks+8000
Los Angeles Clippers+10000
Charlotte Hornets+12500
Minnesota Timberwolves+12500
Toronto Raptors+12500
New York Knicks+25000
Washington Wizards+25000
Indiana Pacers+50000
New Orleans Pelicans+50000
Sacramento Kings+50000
San Antonio Spurs+50000
Houston Rockets+75000
Portland Trail Blazers+75000
Detroit Pistons+100000
Oklahoma City Thunder+100000
Orlando Magic+100000

When the news broke, I was surprised the Nets lines went as low as +380 at some.

As you can see, MGM has them a tri-favorite at +450, along with the Western Conference elite teams of the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns.

It is surprising that the 76ers are lined up +700. I think overall the trade has made both teams better. With players that fit better. In their style of basketball. And wouldn't it be great if the Nets and the 76ers met for the Eastern Conference championship in the playoffs?

I like the futures bet Nets +450 and the 76ers +700.

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John Ryan

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