When the Celtics reportedly traded for Malcolm Brogdon and secured a commitment from future free agent Danilo Gallinari on Friday, they did so in hopes of getting over the title bump. They could have, at least in the eyes of some.
The Celtics became the favorites to win the NBA title in 2023 on multiple sportsbooks on Friday. They have +550 chances to win the title on DraftKings Sportsbook and +500 chances to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy next June on FanDuel Sportsbook.
In the opening 2023 NBA title odds released after the Celtics lost in the 2022 NBA Finals to the Warriors, many sportsbooks had crowding of teams at the top. None of them, however, ranked the Celtics as favorites, with most having the Warriors or Clippers as favorites to win it all in 2023.
It’s certainly reasonable to see why the Celtics could be considered favorites to win it all next season. For starters, they were just two wins short of winning it all last season with a relatively young squad.
But the additions reported Friday cover areas where Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and head coach Ime Udoka said they want the team to improve in the offseason. Brogdon will bring extra play, likely off the bench, averaging 6.3 assists per game over the past three seasons. He’s also a plus shooter, shooting 37.6% from deep in his career, and joined the elusive 50/40/90 club in the 2018-19 season.
Gallinari also brings the veteran shooting presence that Udoka said he wants on the Celtics. He’s a 38.2 percent 3-point shooter in his career, shooting more than 40 percent from deep in four of his 13 seasons.
The other title contenders grouped with the Celtics have made no substantial additions so far this offseason. The Warriors actually lost a few key players, with Gary Payton II going to the Trail Blazers and Otto Porter Jr. going to the Raptors, although they reportedly added Donte DiVincenzo. The Clippers added John Wall after being bought out of his contract with the Rockets. The Bucks have reportedly signed 34-year-old winger Joe Ingles while the Suns could lose center Deandre Ayton.
The imminent trade of Kevin Durant will certainly once again upset the chances of winning the title. The Suns and Heat would be two of Durant’s top picks and if either team got him, they’d likely overtake the Celtics as favorites or come very close to them. A potential Kyrie Irving trade could also upset title chances, depending on where it lands.
Sign up for Celtics updates🏀
Get the latest news and analysis delivered to your inbox during basketball season.