The NBA championship odds of the Brooklyn Nets shortened from +285 to +260 following Saturday’s addition of center LaMarcus Aldridge. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire)
- The NBA championship odds of the Brooklyn Nets shortened from +285 to +260 following Saturday’s addition of center LaMarcus Aldridge
- A seven-time NBA All-Star, Aldridge’s contract was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs
- Previously, the Nets made the addition of Blake Griffin following his buyout by the Detroit Pistons
It wasn’t at all surprising to see LaMarcus Aldridge join the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. As if often the case with player movement following NBA buyouts, it isn’t the rich who get richer. It’s the super rich.
NBA buyouts are the mercenaries of basketball. But the big game they hunt is a chance to make a run to the NBA Finals. After he was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs, seven-time all-star Aldridge was free to go to any team. That he chose the Nets is telling.
Brooklyn already were +285 favorites in the NBA championship odds prior to adding Aldridge. His mere arrival led to a shortening of those odds to +260. See the updated odds below from DraftKings.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+290|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+500|
Odds as of March 27th
Despite the fact they’re favorites, the Nets have never won an NBA title. They’re hoping to change that in 2021.
What Aldridge Brings To Nets
Aldridge’s signing with the Nets was for the veteran’s minimum contract. In 21 games with the Spurs this season, Aldridge, 35, is averaging 13.7 points per game.
However, what he has to offer at this stage of his career is certainly in question. Clearly, Aldridge has lost a step. Defensively, he frequently was looking like a liability this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge is planning to sign with the Nets, per @wojespn pic.twitter.com/bwaXT336uJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 27, 2021
Aldridge has averaged 19.4 points and 8.3 rebounds over his career. He was the second player chosen in the 2006 NBA Draft.
The hope is that in Brooklyn, his size under the hoop can help space out the floor and create more room for the Nets’ big three of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Aldridge is also capable of stepping out and draining 3-pointers. Even this season, a down year for him, Aldridge is shooting 36% from beyond the arc.
Frontcourt Coming Up Short
The price the Nets ended up paying to add former MVP and three-time NBA scoring champion Harden was that the club seriously weakened their front count depth.
They’ve sought to patchwork with lesser options and players on 10-day contracts, but that’s no way to win an NBA title.
The star-power on the Nets is INSANE 🤯
Kevin Durant 11x All-Star
James Harden 9x All-Star
Kyrie Irving 7x All-Star
LaMarcus Aldridge 7x All-Star
Blake Griffin 6x All-Star
DeAndre Jordan 1x All-Star pic.twitter.com/x1cVBAvCGf
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 27, 2021
Bringing in Aldridge and Griffin, the Nets certainly recognize that their days as main pieces in a puzzle are long gone. But with Brooklyn, they need not fill starring roles.
As secondary players behind the big three, both of these former all-stars should be able to be effective complimentary options. Opposing defenses will be forced to account for them, which definitely wasn’t the case with the cast of characters who were filling these options previously.
Aldridge makes the Nets a better team today. Not significantly better, mind you, but better nonetheless. And it’s not like Brooklyn required much in the way of improvement.
Aldridge figures to share playing time at center with DeAndre Jordan. Griffin has already made one start among his three appearances since joining Brooklyn.
LaMarcus Aldridge had just upgraded ‘scary hours’ to ‘absolutely terrifying’ for Nets opponents 👀 pic.twitter.com/hgwnEwdInN
— Nets Nation (@NetsNationCP) March 27, 2021
By adding Aldridge and Griffin, the Nets are also enabling veteran role players like Bruce Brown and Jeff Green to go back to slotting into the spot they’re best suited to fill.
The Nets also prevented Aldridge from joining another contender and that can’t be underrated. Already the team to beat, Brooklyn is even more omnipresent in that position today.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets (+260)
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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.