The Brooklyn Nets are the betting favorites in the Eastern Conference in 2020-21.
Remember when the Boston Celtics pulled off a coup, sending Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets in exchange for what felt like a decade’s worth of draft picks? A blow from which Brooklyn would never recover, we were told.
The two franchises’ identities were set in stone. Boston was the historically potent crew, always contending and reloading on someone else’s dime. Brooklyn was the destination for over-the-hill veterans attempting to avoid the fork being stuck in their side, valiantly clawing for the eighth seed.
Except here we are in 2020. The Nets are a few months away from watching a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant leading the pursuit of a championship. The Celtics, once again, are a superstar away from being able to get over the hump, one year too young to finish the job. Just one more year! That’ll be the difference!
And when the Nets do tip off the next campaign, they’ll officially do so as the betting favorites to escape the conference. It’s been a solid few years, all things considered.
Yes, the Nets check in at +350, just ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks (who might be saying sayonara to their superstar in the next 12 months) and the aforementioned C’s atop the conference.
It’s been a long road to get here, sure, but it can’t be forgotten that Brooklyn never gave up on presenting their location and leadership group as a culture advantage, and it paid off. Meanwhile, Boston’s admittedly slick accumulation of draft picks and young talent had some true clunkers mixed in (Gordon Hayward? The lack of a true center when Anthony Davis was available?).
Now, the Nets are the on-paper preference. That was quick.
And yup, KD is only 32. Just getting started.
Turns out, we’re not the only ones dreaming of what a fresh Irving and Durant will look like in jet black. The rest of the NBA betting market is right alongside us.