Now that the Raptors have been crowned 2019 NBA champions, it's never too early to start looking ahead to next year.
And, if you're interested in putting money down on who the 2020 NBA champion will be, well, I've got a bridge to sell you.
The fact is, it's incredibly difficult to have any idea what the NBA landscape will look like three months from now, much less an entire year. With numerous star players destined for free agency, and several serious injuries suffered in postseason play, the league may be as wide-open as it's been in several years.
Shortly after the Raptors defeated the Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the championship, The Action Network released their 2020 NBA championship odds, and there's a whole lot to cover.
The Warriors, even after losing to the Raptors, remain favorites to win the title in 2020 at plus-350. However, at a minimum, Kevin Durant will miss a significant portion of the 2020 season while recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Klay Thompson will likely have to do the same after reportedly tearing his ACL in Game 6. It's tough to imagine the Warriors winning the championship next year without both of those players, as evidenced by their failure to do so against the Raptors, so it wouldn't be shocking at all to see the Warriors' odds drop.
But don't tell Steph Curry that.
Oh, and by the way, both Durant and Thompson are due to be unrestricted free agents, so there's no guarantee they'll even be with Golden State next season.
Then again, almost every other 2020 favorite has serious question marks as well.
The Lakers sit immediately behind the Warriors at plus-500, which is a bit hilarious considering they missed the playoffs this past season, and could very well strike out when it comes to acquiring significant star power this offseason. But, you know, LeBron. So, yeah.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the best regular-season record in 2019, are behind the Lakers at plus-600, and while Giannis Antetokounmpo seems primed to take over the Eastern Conference, they could potentially lose Khris Middleton and others in free agency.
The Clippers (plus-800), whom many consider the favorite to land Kawhi Leonard, have the fourth-best odds, right ahead of the Celtics and Raptors, who are both plus-1000. The Celtics might very well lose Kyrie Irving in free agency, and the Raptors, despite winning the championship, may lose their best player in Leonard for the same reason.
Behind the Raptors are the Rockets and 76ers (both plus-1200), followed by the one and only New York Knicks at plus-2000, whose projection is entirely based on landing not one, but two superstars in free agency, one of whom just ruptured his Achilles.
So, yes, about that bridge ...