Davis Trade Shakes Up NBA Futures Market

The NBA Draft and free agency have yet to begin, but one of the biggest dominoes of the 2019 offseason fell on Saturday when the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis in a trade with the Pelicans. That caused an immediate shift in the 2019-20 futures market, with LA vaulting to title favorites in both Nevada and New Jersey. PointsBet had also released 2019-20 season win totals the day before, leading to some major adjustments both before and after the news of the trade.

Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Record: 37-45
2019-20 Opening Season Win Total: 50.5

Once the Davis deal broke, the Lakers season win total briefly went off the board before being reposted at 56.5. The market deemed that too drastic of an adjustment, as the under promptly got steamed at both 56.5 and 55.5. Further one-sided action sent the number all the way down to 53.5, where it finally settled.

New York Knicks
2019 Record: 17-65
2019-20 Opening Season Win Total: 37.5

Despite being the frontrunners to land Kevin Durant, the Knicks’ low opening win total was a reflection of the extended rehab process that Durant is facing to return from a ruptured Achilles. The market didn’t think 37.5 was low enough, however, as under money came in fast to send the number plummeting to 34.5. The Davis news gave way to an even bigger adjustment, with the total settling at 30.5 on the knowledge that the Knicks’ slim chances of landing Davis had been reduced to zero.

Brooklyn Nets
2019 Record: 42-40
2019-20 Opening Season Win Total: 50.5

The high opener essentially has Kyrie Irving — who’s widely expected to be Brooklyn-bound — priced into it, but in order to make a true leap into the 50+ win range, the Nets will need a second star to pair with Kyrie. The market wasn’t convinced that’s a foregone conclusion, which led to a correction down to 47.5. And similar to the Knicks, any faint hope of Davis was extinguished as well.

Toronto Raptors
2019 Record: 58-24
2019-20 Opening Season Win Total: 53.5

The opening number for the NBA champs is effectively pricing in Kawhi Leonard’s return — similar to the Nets and Kyrie — as it’s tough to see them approaching 50 wins without the Finals MVP. Furthermore, if Kawhi does opt to sign elsewhere, Toronto could conceivably look to offload some of its high-priced veterans and rebuild around the young core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby. The market has generally respected that uncertainty, with only a slight adjustment to 52.5.

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