January 30, 2023

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4 min read



The month of August is traditionally the least eventful in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but Kevin Durant’s choice to remain in Brooklyn and withdraw his trade demand had a significant impact on the Nets’ chances of winning the championship.

In the beginning of July, only a few days after Kevin Durant wanted to be traded from Brooklyn, the odds of the Brooklyn Nets winning the NBA Championship in 2023 went as high as 50-1. Congratulations are in order for you if you were one of the fortunate few to put some money down on Brooklyn.

But you’ll forgive the rest of the people who didn’t since, in recent years, whenever an NBA player says they want to be traded, they end up getting their wish.


The most prominent players in the NBA who have expressed a desire to leave their teams in the past 15 years – including Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia), Paul George (Indiana), and Jimmy Butler (Minnesota) – have been able to successfully negotiate their departures. It is true that none of those players still had four years remaining on their contracts as KD did, but historically speaking, it hasn’t been a relevant factor.

Following the announcement that Kevin Durant would be remaining with the Nets, along with Kyrie Irving, who has one year remaining on his contract, the Nets’ odds of winning the championship shrunk all the way down to 18-1. As I write this, they can be found as low as 7-1 at a few different books.

The Nets have the second-best roster in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Boston Celtics. When comparing only the top 10 players on each roster, it is clear that the Brooklyn Nets have more overall talent than the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Atlanta Hawks. But I’m coming to bust the bubble of winning the title. Let’s go right into the reasons why I don’t think much of the Nets this season.

NETS ODDS FOR THE 2022-23 SEASON * (all odds may be found at OKBet)

  • The Nets have a +900 chance of winning the NBA championship (a $10 wager will earn $100 in total).
  • Bet ten dollars to win one hundred and ten dollars on Kevin Durant being named NBA Most Valuable Player.
  • Bet ten dollars to win one thousand dollars on the outcome that Kyrie Irving will be named NBA Most Valuable Player.

indicates the odds as of August 23, 2022

To begin, let’s address the topic that is on everyone’s mind, which is whether or not this squad has a chance of remaining healthy.

During the previous season, injuries forced each of Durant, Irving, and Joe Harris to miss substantial time. In the meantime, Simmons has not participated in a game of basketball played according to the rules since May of 2021.

If everyone can maintain their health, then the chemistry won’t be the problem. They will, indeed, have the entire season to work on building team chemistry, but doing so will need patience and sound physical condition. It is a reasonable worry taking into account the injury history of the squad up to this point in the Durant/Irving era.

To give you a succinct explanation of the primary factor that led to my decision to leave the Nets, I’ll just mention one player by name: Kyrie Irving. This team’s future is going to be a massive dark cloud that hangs over them for the entirety of this season.

Let’s face it: despite the fact that the star point guard is extremely gifted, you never know what kind of performance you’ll get out of him on the court, or if he’ll even show up. If Irving plans to continue playing for the Brooklyn Nets beyond this season, he will make it a priority to participate in at least 70 games for the team.

If he is successful in doing so, he will almost certainly earn All-NBA honors. But if he is aware that he is leaving, does he play each game to his full potential and give it his all? Or does he merely have to perform well enough for another team to make him an offer for a maximum contract the following summer?

In either case, investing money in Irving for the next nine months sounds like an incredibly high-risk play on the futures market. If you want to discover the last time Kyrie Irving was healthy enough to play a double-digit number of postseason games, you have to travel all the way back to 2017 to do it. This is a staggering statistic.

After considering everything, I have decided that for the upcoming NBA season I will not be placing any bets on the Nets futures.


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