28 Jul Cavs Lead Early Favorites To Win 2016 NBA Title
Summer League is over and in a couple of months, the teams will buckle down to business and draw up their game plans to win the 2016 NBA title. The top free agents are already in their respective homes-new or old and save for some major trades along the way, we now have a picture of how the 2016 NBA season will look like. I know it’s too early, but there’s no such thing in Las Vegas. The gods have spoken, and these are the top five favorites to win the NBA title as of 7.15.15:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers 11/4
— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2015
With all due respect to Kevin Love, whose signing was key to the Cavs’ offseason, this was all that mattered to put Cleveland on top of the Vegas list. LeBron James put on a dominating 2015 NBA Finals with numbers we’ve never seen before. We don’t need to go into that as it will only make this longer. What we’ll do though is leave you with a question which Cleveland fans have been asking time immemorial: What if Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao played in the Finals? Your guess is as good as mine. However, we’ll get our answers in October when the 2016 season begins.
2. San Antonio Spurs 3/1
I'm happy to say I'm going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I'm excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.
— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) July 4, 2015
The San Antonio Spurs leap-frogged two spots higher following the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge. Sure the Spurs lost key reserves in Marco Belinelli, Aron Baynes, Cory Joseph and starter Tiago Splitter but can you imagine a starting frontline of Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge? That could be the best frontcourt trio in the NBA right now, pound for pound. That’s not the end of it. The Spurs then added forward David West, signed Jimmer Fredette and then saw Kyle Anderson win the MVP in the 2015 Summer League.Remember that the Spurs were one game away from being the 2nd seed in the West before the 2015 playoffs began. They lost to the Clippers after Chris Paul hit a miraculous runner in Game 6. 2015 wasn’t for them. But if there’s one last hurrah left in this old team, it’s gonna be this season for sure.
3. Golden State Warriors 11/2
— Warriors Nation (@SFWarriorNation) July 4, 2015
It’s funny more than surprising how gamblers would put the Warriors at third spot after a season where they just broke record after record. The key move for the Warriors was keeping Draymond Green who transformed into one of their key players during the playoffs. The Warriors lost David Lee in the offseason but he wasn’t really part of Steve Kerr‘s rotation anyway. And yes, the Warriors stand to save millions in luxury tax payments in trading Lee so shall we say that’s another brilliant move by this brilliant franchise? The Warriors title team are so intact that two of their five offseason transactions include naming Larry Harris as Director of Player Personnel and Stephen Collins as COO of GSW Arena LLC. Talk about having a busy off-season.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder 17/2
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) July 5, 2015
The Oklahoma City Thunder were one game away from the 2015 NBA playoffs. If you can still remember, the New Orleans Pelicans barged into the playoffs after beating the Spurs on the final regular season day. So despite all the injuries that they suffered, the Thunder were still knocking at the post-season’s door up to the final game. The Thunder have been perennial contenders in the last four years but without 2014 MVP Kevin Durant, they came up short. With Durant back, and he is according to reports, the Thunder should return to their place as one of the elites. Look, they now have Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, Dion Waiters, Anthony Morrow and Mitch McGary to support their one-two punch of Durant and Westbrook. Not to mention they have Billy Donovan calling the shots from the bench. This is probably the best supporting cast OKC has ever had.
5. Los Angeles Clippers 10/1
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) July 21, 2015
You’ve got to give the Clippers A for effort because they didn’t just waive the white flag when DJ was reported to be headed to Dallas. Imagine billionaire Steve Ballmer, Team President and Coach Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Paul Pierce locking DeAndre Jordan inside his own home just so he will re-consider his decision of leaving. That’s unprecedented. And that shows you how serious and “hardcore” these Clippers are. So we all know they beat Mark Cuban to the draw and recovered DeAndre Jordan. What makes the Clippers better on paper are the additions of Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith. The question though is how Doc Rivers will manage and balance the personalities in that team, especially Stephenson and Smith who are notoriously problematic in their former NBA lives.
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