The NBA Trade Deadline has passed and players are on the move. Buyouts have changed a few things up too. Still, the Nets remain championship favourites.

Moving Pieces

The NBA trade deadline has passed, and while Kyle Lowry didn’t move on from the Toronto Raptors, we still saw plenty of movement around the league.

Some of the more notable moves:

  • Bulls acquire Nikola Vucivic and Al-Farouq Aminu. Magic acquire Wendell Carter, Otto Porter and picks.
  • Heat acquire Victor Oladipo. Rockets acquire Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, pick swaps.
  • Nuggets acquire Aaron Gordon and Gary Clark. Magic acquire Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a pick.
  • Celtics acquire Evan Fournier. Magic acquire Jeff Teague and picks.
  • 76ers acquire George Hill and Ignas Brazdeikis. Thunder acquire Tony Bradley, Austin Rivers and picks. Knicks acquire Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier and picks.
  • Clippers acquire Rajon Rondo. Hawks acquire Lou Williams and picks.
  • Trail Blazers acquire Norman Powell. Raptors acquire Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.

Nets Pile Up Vets

First the Brooklyn Nets added Blake Griffin to the roster. He’s produced nine points, 3.3 rebounds and a steal in 18.3 minutes per game in his three games.

Now, they’ve pounced on LaMarcus Aldridge after he agreed to a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

It will be interesting to see how Steve Nash uses Aldridge and Griffin. They both provide experience, but they are unlikely to be on the court together. Perhaps it is situational and a night-by-night consideration as to which one of the two plays.

In the meantime, the Nets are $3.60 favourites to win the NBA title.

Giannis MVP Case

Nikola Jokic is a $1.65 favourite to be named the 2020-21 NBA MVP. He’s playing the best basketball of his career and the Denver Nuggets are putting themselves into the championship conversation at 27-18 and $21.

However, Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves a look at $8.

His per game numbers stack up:

  • 28.3 points
  • 11.5 rebounds
  • 6.4 assists
  • 1.2 steals
  • 1.3 blocks
  • 58.9% effective field goal

And the Milwaukee Bucks are the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference at 29-16.

It’s voter fatigue that is the biggest argument against Antetokounmpo winning the award. MVP voters simply don’t like to put the same name in the 1st-place vote column three years in a row. They’ve not done it since Larry Bird won three in a row throughout the mid-’80s.

LeBron James is effectively out of the MVP race given his injury. Joel Embiid doesn’t seem to be rating much of a mention despite his excellent play. Jokic is a deserving favourite, but the value is in The Greek Freak.

Rockets Roll Over

The Houston Rockets just snapped a 20-game losing streak. Still, they managed to find a way to blow a massive lead to the only team in the NBA with a worse record.

NBA Against The Spread Standings

The Phoenix Suns remain as a premier team for punters at 30-14 against the spread. While the Houston Rockets still prop up the bottom of the list, a 2-3 week against the spread is promising by their standards.

After Week 14

Top 10
Bottom 10
Suns (30-14)Warriors (21-25)
Jazz (29-16)Kings (21-25)
Knicks (27-18-1)Mavericks (20-24)
Clippers (27-20)Bucks (20-25)
76ers (26-17-3)Raptors (20-25)
Grizzlies (24-18-1)Timberwolves (19-26-1)
Hornets (24-19-1)Cavaliers (19-27)
Pistons (24-19-1)Pacers (18-26)
Spurs (24-19)Heats (18-27-1)
Bulls (23-20-1)Rockets (14-31)