It’s trade season which means that it is the time of year that the NBA becomes a soap opera as players move around the league – by force or demand.

Here He Is…

“Kyrie has been pretty quiet lately…”

We should have known something was coming.

Kyrie Irving, one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, has put himself in the headlines once again. And, once again, it has little to do with what he’s actually doing on the basketball court.

As a result of the news, the Nets’ $8 after Week 15 has blown out to $13 already.

Conveniently, Irving missed the last Brooklyn Nets game with a calf issue. Nets fans didn’t miss their chance to let make their thoughts clear, though. A chorus of boos ran around Barclays Center when Irving appeared on the big screen.

So, Nets fans don’t seem to be interested in him returning. Assuming Irving’s request is real, he isn’t interested in returning either.

What now?

Irving has missed a lot of games throughout the NBA season. However, when he does play, you quickly remember that despite all of the disruptions he brings to a franchise, he’s an elite presence on the floor. He’s averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game despite playing irregularly and in a rotation that still lacks cohesion. In the right situation, and provided he behaves himself, Irving can still be a big player depending on the situation.

His request has taken away all of Brooklyn’s leverage which does open up trade possibilities.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have all emerged as potential landing spots for Irving. The expectation is for something to be organised soon.

One Lakers offer has already started to do the round. Any deal will involve Russell Westbrook but given his huge salary, the Nets will have to add more salary to Irving’s for the numbers to work. In this case, Joe Harris is joining Irving in Los Angeles with Westbrook, Ronnie Walker LV and two first-round picks going the other way. It’s the sort of deal that instantly improves the Lakers and brings about conversations around their ability to contend for the NBA championship right now. Just the potential for a deal has seen the Lakers rise to the 10th line of betting at $18.

The fit around Irving and Luka Doncic isn’t a winner on paper right now but the Mavericks will be on the phones. They have some serviceable pieces that can keep the Nets competitive for now but have been reluctant to give up picks in the past. Meanwhile, the Suns are an outside chance given the likelihood Chris Paul is involved in the deal. Paul, Irving and Devin Booker on the floor at once isn’t going to happen.

Irving’s opportunity to leave in the summer, which we know he will do if he’s unhappy, will turn teams off giving up too much of their future. This could he a half-season rental if he ups and leaves his new destination at the end of the NBA season.

The trade deadline is fast approaching. Whether he stays or leaves, the NBA Championship odds are worth keeping an eye on in the coming days.


That didn’t take long…

Irving has landed in Dallas and will move into the Mavericks backcourt alongside Luka Doncic. The first question for many is how they will share the ball? Doncic is 2nd in the NBA in usage rate at 38.5%. However, he doesn’t need so much of the ball to have an impact. There the positive impact will come is late in games. Having two lethal finishers will give the Mavericks a huge boost in the playoffs.

Most Valuable Player Update

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Most Valuable Player debates are starting to heat up.

It’s a product of a genuinely close race in which five players are a chance of picking up the award:

Nikola Jokic – $1.91
Joel Embiid – $4
Luka Doncic – $8.50
Giannis Antetokounmpo – $8.50
Jayson Tatum – $13

Still, despite being blessed with an exciting race and top-tier performances every night, the discourse tends to revolve around dragging other players down in support of another.

Jokic remains a deserving favourite but the tide seems to be turning. He has been outplayed by other contenders in recent games which will have an impact on voters by the end of the NBA season.

Already on Jokic to win the award at $34, it might be a good time to invest elsewhere.

Curry Down Again

This segment was going to be the Futures Bet of the Week…

While the Golden State Warriors haven’t performed particularly well of late and are still 7th in the Western Conference with a 27-26 record, those above them are hardly making strides up the standings either. Only two wins separate the Sacramento Kings (29-22) at 3rd and the New Orleans Pelicans (27-27) at 10th. The Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies lead the conference, but if we’re talking about the nitty-gritty of a playoff series, it’s difficult to be supremely confident in either team getting past any Western opposition.

A healthy Warriors, in particular.


Steph Curry played only 12 games since his last somewhat lengthy injury and is now out with another one. The Warriors managed without him the first time, but we will be approaching the pointy end of the NBA season when Curry returns from this injury. The idea of a healthy, experienced and focused Warriors team going into a playoff series that is without a clear favourite appealed at $14. It still does to a degree, but it’s important the Warriors navigate this new period without Curry well. If the rest of the team can be ready to fire upon Curry’s return, he can be the one to trigger a late-season push towards the NBA title.


You’ll have seen the vision by now.

Mo Bamba said something to Austin Rivers, which lead to a punch-up and multi-game bans for the pair.

Bamba will miss four games and forfeit $284,138 in salary. Rivers is out for three and down $60,121, while Jalen Suggs – who escalated the incident – will miss a game and give up $47,740 for his role.

Earlier in the week, Dillion Brooks ‘accidentally’ connected his fist with Donovan Mitchell’s crown jewels leading to a smaller altercation. Brooks will miss just one game, while Mitchell was handed a fine.

NBA Championship Odds

We don’t need to check in on the teams towards the bottom of the NBA championship list. Here, we keep an eye on those inside the Top 10 each week.

The Dallas Mavericks are the big movers following the Irving trade to enter the Top 10 NBA Championships Odds list at $10. As expected, the Brooklyn Nets have tumbled to $20. With a contender in the East appearing to be out of the way, and along with their impressive recent form, the Philadelphia 76ers are into $10 from $13 a week earlier.

Top 10 Odds

Boston Celtics$4.50$3.75
Milwaukee Bucks$6.50$5.50
Denver Nuggets$9$9
Philadelphia 76ers$13$10
Dallas Mavericks$10
Memphis Grizzlies$11$11
Golden State Warriors$9.50$14
LA Clippers$14$17
Brooklyn Nets$8$20
Cleveland Cavaliers$21