Here are the current odds to win the 2009-2010 NBA Championship:
- Lakers: 5-2
- Cavaliers: 3-1
- Celtics: 5-1
- Magic: 7-1
Anyone who'd place a bet now on next year's champion is a moron, because there's a ton of uncertainty surrounding all four of these teams. Let's take a look:
Lakers: Two key role players, Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom are free-agents. Does LA have the flexibility/finances to give big raises to both? There's a good possibility that coach Phil Jackson will retire. And Kobe Bryant can opt-out, but no one really expects him to leave the Lakers.
Cavaliers: With LeBron James one year away from free-agency, the Cavs could make some desperate moves in order to win now and appease the King, i.e. the Shaq trade. Anderson Varajeo is a free-agent and coach Mike Brown's future is shaky.
Celtics: Can the Celtics Big 3 stay healthy? How will KG look after knee surgery? Glen Davis – a key role player – is likely looking for big dollars as a restricted free agent. The entire bench needs to be rebuilt.
Magic: The centerpiece of their offense – Hedu Turkoglu – is likely to opt out and seek a big raise from the $7 million he made this season.
FWIW, here are my odds for next season:
- Cavaliers 3-1
- Celtics 4-1
- Lakers 5-1
- Magic 7-1
Here's what Doc Rivers told Marc Spears about free agency:
On what exactly he wants during free
agency, Rivers said: "I'm not going to tell you. I want to get better
and we will. We have areas where we have to improve in. We can in free
agency. We'll be aggressive. That doesn't mean we will come up with
Rivers said that two needs are backups at point guard and small forward. When asked if free agent guard Stephon Marbury is
being considered, Rivers said: "Absolutely. I thought he will be great
and better next [season] through training camp. He'll look and see what
he can get at this point of his career and see what he can do."
On free agent forward Glen Davis,
Rivers said: "We want him back. I hope he's back. He's taken steps each
year. He improved his jump shot. We need him to get even better at it.
We need him to become a better rebounder."
Nothing surprising there. We keep hearing (from Doc, Danny and Wyc) that the Celtics will be aggressive in free agency. That's got me thinking they are going to load up for one more run with the Big 3. Don't let us down….
After the jump, snapshots of classy Lakers fans "enjoying" their championship…