No, you aren’t reading the headline wrong. I am predicting the Raptors to be next years NBA Champions. This of course only if Kawhi Leanord decides to stay with the Raptors. There has not been much talk around what Leonard will do this offseason. However, after winning the Championship I think he’s staying in Toronto. For the most part, no big Toronto players are going into free agency this Summer. Gasol has a player option to opt back in (why would he not), and Danny Green is a free agent.
The updated NBA championship winner odds from @SuperBookUSA.
GS, Phi 12/1
Bos, Den 16/1
Utah, Por 30/1
SA, Ind, NO 60/1
Orl, Atl 80/1
Mem, Chi, Sac, Phx 100/1
Det, Cha, Mia, Wsh, Cle, Min 200/1
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 15, 2019
If Gasol and Kawhi both come back then the Raptors have basically the same team as last year. Plus now all the players have the experience of winning a championship which in my eyes means a lot. Now depending on where you look, the Raptors have about a 10/1 odds to win it all.
My reasoning for this is straight forward. The Raptors were clearly the best team in the East. With the Bucks possibly losing some key players due to free agency, (Middleton, Brogdon, Lopez, and Mirotic) they may not have enough to get over the hump. The Celtics will most likely lose Irving and miss out on Kemba Walker. If Hawyard plays to his full potential then maybe they have a shot? The 76ers still have some growing pains to work out. This all makes it easier for the Raptors to reach the NBA Finals back to back seasons. The Western Conference is a toss up and will whichever team that comes out of it will be drained by the time they reach the Finals. Like I stated before this is only if Kawhi decides to stay in Toronto.
Connor Strayer (@CouchGuyBigC19)