- Spurs' odds move to 9-2 from 10-1, behind only Cavaliers
- Spurs added Aldridge and re-signed Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green
LaMarcus Aldridge’s move to San Antonio has pushed the Spurs past the defending-champion Golden State Warriors as the oddsmakers’ second-favorite to win the National Basketball Association title next season.
The 6-foot-11 Aldridge, who grew up in Texas and attended the University of Texas, said over the weekend that he’d be “going home” and joining the Spurs after nine NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. Aldridge was regarded as one of the best free agents available this offseason, having averaged 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds last season.
Aldridge made his July 4 announcement on Twitter two days after 39-year-old Tim Duncan said he’d be returning to San Antonio for a 19th season, giving the Spurs a potential successor to their two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. The Spurs, who have won five championships during the Duncan era, also re-signed free agents Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to long-term contracts.
San Antonio’s odds of winning the NBA title have been cut to 9-2 from 10-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, putting the Spurs just behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the 2-1 favorites. The Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder are both given 5-1 odds of winning the 2015-16 NBA championship.
“I’m excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends,” Aldridge, who won only one playoff series during his time in Portland, wrote on Twitter.
With Aldridge’s exit, the Blazers’ odds of winning the title climbed to 100-1 from 50-1.
Mavs Snag Jordan
Free agent center DeAndre Jordan is also returning to Texas and boosted the Dallas Mavericks’ championship odds to 30-1 from 40-1.
Jordan, who played collegiately at Texas A&M, agreed to a four-year contract with the Mavericks that ESPN said is worth $80 million. The 6-foot-11 Jordan last season led the NBA in field goal percentage and rebounds per game with the Los Angeles Clippers, whose title odds rose to 20-1 from 10-1.
The Cavaliers, listed a week ago at 9-4 odds, are 2-1 favorites after Kevin Love said he’d be returning to Cleveland after becoming a free agent. LeBron James is still a free agent after opting out of his previous contract, although the four-time MVP has said he plans to re-sign with the Cavaliers.
The New York Knicks, rebuffed in their pursuit of Aldridge, Jordan and fellow big man Greg Monroe, had their championship odds jump to 200-1 from 80-1. The Los Angeles Lakers had the same move with their title odds after failing to make a significant addition in the past week, leaving players such as David West, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Enes Kanter, Jeremy Lin and Mo Williams as some of the biggest names left in free agency.