We say it every summer, but this year’s NBA free agency has the potential to be one of the wildest in recent memory. Though Kyrie Irving’s decision to opt into the final year of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets — taking him off the board as the league’s most coveted free agent — there’s still a chance he could be on the move if GM Sean Marks wants to cut his losses. In typical NBA fashion, a trade could dictate how everything else plays out.

For instance, what happens if Jaylen Brown get dealt? Or Kevin  Durant?


There’s plenty of intrigue with this year’s free agency, which begins on Thursday, June 30, at 6 p.m. ET. We’ve already heard rumors of the first domino falling, with John Wall expected to be bought out by the Houston Rockets and then sign with the LA Clippers.

Sports betting apps see Wall’s addition — and the impending return of a healthy Kawhi Leonard — as big enough news to vault the Clippers near the top of the NBA title odds list. With Wall’s signing and the expectation that Irving stays, here’s where oddsmakers have pegged title favorites:

2023 NBA Title Odds

Team Odds
Warriors +500
Clippers +600
Celtics +650
Bucks +700
Nets +850
Suns +1000
Mavs +1400
Lakers +1400
Grizzlies +1400
Heat +1400
76ers +1400

Odds via BetMGM; check out the BetMGM bonus code REALGM for a $1,000 risk-free bet


Which NBA Free Agency Moves Could Move Odds

Though we don’t expect Irving, Kevin Durant or James Harden to be swapping uniforms on Thursday, there are some big names who should make headlines shortly after the clock strikes 6 p.m.

We expect that the Bulls (+2500 title odds) will retain Zach LaVine with a five-year maximum deal, but the Phoenix Suns (+1000) seem reluctant to pay former top pick Deandre Ayton. Jalen Brunson may have priced himself out of Dallas (+1400) with a strong postseason, while the Hornets (+10000) will need to decide what Miles Bridges is worth as they rebuild around LaMelo Ball.

In terms of what moves could swing title odds most, the Suns would likely see a dip if Ayton leaves — but one would expect GM James Jones to have a backup plan to replace his 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds. Arizona sports betting apps might see a spike in activity, depending on how things play out.


It would sting for the Mavericks to lose Brunson after he played alongside Luka Doncic to get Dallas to the Western Conference Finals, but they also traded for Christian Wood and drafted Jaden Hardy a week ago. They aren’t going anywhere as long as No. 77 is upright.

The Warriors are the defending champs and seem intent on running it back. Both Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II are expected to re-sign with Golden State when free agency begins, meaning Steve Kerr’s group will return seven of its top eight rotation players from last year’s title squad.

Other contenders could make giant splashes that we’re not sure exist right now, but it’ll be tough for any group to surpass the Warriors as title favorites.

Spurs-Hawks Swap could Shake Up East

More trade rumors abound as we near the start of free agency, and the latest involves one of the top young guards in the league. Dejounte Murray could be heading to Atlanta, where he’d form an intriguing — and stellar — backcourt duo with Trae Young.

The Hawks (+6600) struggled last season, but adding Murray, who finished second in the Most Improved Players voting behind Ja Morant, would give them the potential to earn a top-4 seed in the East. The Spurs feel content to rebuild, and it could be the Hawks who wind up as big winners because of it.


Stick a Fork In the Lakers?

The Lakers are just +1400 to win next year’s NBA title, an almost unthinkable set of odds considering they’ll once again be led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But last year’s injury-riddled, Russ Westbrook-tanking season didn’t leave oddsmakers any choice. T

here was a thought that Irving would sign for the Mid-Level Exception in LA, but that’s no longer an option. Instead, the Lakers will need to get creative to fill some serious holes — and decide what to do with Westbrook — without much cap flexibility.

Rob Pelinka has built a title roster before, but this might be asking a lot.