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#pounditSaturday, October 24, 2020

2020 NBA championship odds see major shift after Klay Thompson injury

Klay Thompson knee

This NBA offseason is going to be one of the most interesting in recent history after the unfortunate injuries both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered, and the shifting in Las Vegas odds shows just how much uncertainty there is heading into the 2019-20 season.

Even with Durant expected to miss all of next year while recovering from a torn Achilles, the Golden State Warriors still entered Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the favorites to win the title in 2020 with +190 odds. Then Thompson tore his ACL, and we saw some major changes.

As of Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks — not the Warriors — had the best odds to win it all next season. As gifdsports notes, the Los Angeles Lakers also saw their chances take a major swing from +2000 to +700.

What does it all mean? Not a whole lot, but the injuries to Durant and Thompson create a massive element of uncertainty. Thompson was considered a lock to remain with the Warriors before his torn ACL, and that may still be the case. However, can they really re-sign both him and Durant and risk not having neither play at all next season? Even if they do, Golden State may be looking at a year off from title contention.

The Eastern Conference also got weaker after Durant’s injury, which probably explains why the Bucks are now at the top of the championship odds list. While at least one East team is willing to offer Durant a max contract despite his injury, there was potential several days ago for Durant to change the landscape of the East next year. Even if he does sign with an Eastern Conference team now, he isn’t going to be able to help in 2019-20.

If Kawhi Leonard decides to stick with the Toronto Raptors, they should easily be the favorites to repeat. Having them at +800 indicates oddsmakers expect him to leave, which he may have hinted at following Game 6.

Stay tuned and fasten your seatbelts.

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