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Kevin Durant rumors give Phoenix Suns’ NBA title odds a boost

Wherever Kevin Durant goes, odds makers and bookies follow.

Considering Durant’s back-to-back NBA titles in 2017-2018, Durant altered his NBA’s future prospects by asking for a deal from the Brooklyn Nets after a season of turmoil and disappointment.

He is said to prefer moving to the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat, according to ESPN, which has reviewed the entire NBA Futures Board. The Suns jumped to +550 joint favorites with the Boston Celtics to win the 2022-23 NBA title on Tipico Sportsbook.

The defending champion Golden State Warriors became the third choice 6/1, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (+650) and the 2021 champion Milwaukee Bucks (7/1).

The Heat is worth 10/1 at Tipico, down from 13/1 a day after the Warriors defeated the Celtics in the final.

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Bookmakers prefer Durant to land in Phoenix because he has the ability to negotiate a signing and trading deal that would likely include Suns’ previous No. 1 public draft – restricted free agent position Deandre Ayton – and some others from one of the league’s most talented shortlists.

Of course, Nets general manager Sean Marks is free to tackle the former MVP and four-time scoring champ — who averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists last season — wherever he pleases.

“Kevin Durant has been a top-five player in the league for the past 10 years. Regardless of which team he plays for, he will definitely have a chance in the championship, which is why operators have to adjust the odds accordingly,” said Sunny Gupta, a spokesman for Tipco Sportsbook.

Durant is best known for splitting from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. While with the Warriors, he won two NBA Finals MVP awards before choosing to join Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn three years ago.

Sporadic play for former MVP teammate James Harden, Irving’s limited play due to his unwillingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and Durant’s MCL injury and then Harden’s trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons sabotage Durant’s efforts to be part of another championship team in Brooklyn.

Facing Durant’s upcoming loss, the Nets are also saddled with another unattractive deal after Irving planned to call up his $36.5 million player option.

Brooklyn dropped from +650 at the end of last season to the 11th pick at Tepico on 20/1.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant played only 57 regular season and playoff games together for the Nets.

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The fact that Irving might meet again with LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Russell Westbrook, who was said to have activated his $47 million option, increased the Lakers’ title odds from 20/1 to 12/1.

Irving and James teamed up to win the 2016 NBA title in Cleveland.

Now, thanks to Durant’s wishes, Phoenix appears to be the favourite, led by veteran goalkeeper Chris Paul and all-star guard Devin Booker, who has just signed a four-year, $224 million Supermax contract extension with The Sun.

Head coach Monty Williams was a former assistant coach at Oklahoma City while Durant was there.

In the Las Vegas Superbook, basketball analyst Jeff Sherman marks Suns as the +650th choice behind the Celtics’ well-known commodity, at 6/1.

Sherman said that while there was mention of Durant going to the Toronto Raptors or another team, like New Orleans or Orlando, he didn’t think that would happen.

“All Durant has to say is, I’m not going to camp if I go there,” Sherman said. “I took into account that he wanted to go to Phoenix or Miami, and in the end, these guys have the power to dictate where they want to go.

“At 34 years old, with four years remaining on his contract, I doubt he’ll be a good fit for Toronto. It might take another team to sign up for this deal, but a player like Durant can make his way to the team he wants.”

If Phoenix officially has its “Big Three” from Durant, Booker and Paul, Sherman expects the Suns’ odds will improve again toward the “3/1 range.”

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