Just how far away are the Boston Celtics from being a championship contender? Pretty far, at least according to the oddsmakers.
According to the online Sportsbook Betonline.ag the Celtics currently are at 33-1 to win it all next season (+3300) tied for 13th overall with the New York Knicks and the Portland Trailblazers. The Celtics are tied for the sixth best odds in the eastern conference behind Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami, and Atlanta.
2022 NBA title odds per @betonline_ag
LAC, MIL 10/1
DEN, MIA 25/1
BOS, DAL, POR 33/1
IND, NOP 60/1
CHA, WAS 80/1
CLE, DET, ORL, SAC, SAS 200/1
HOU, OKC 500/1
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 12, 2021
Boston has had a busy offseason thus far – moving Brad Stevens to the front office, hiring Ime Udoka as their new head coach, and trading point guard Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder. And although there is hope that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will bud into superstars in this league, there is a lot of uncertainty with this Boston team.
The Celtics are cap-strapped going into 2022, and despite offloading Kemba’s contract, they are still roughly $16 million over the salary cap.
Forward Evan Fournier is a candidate to be re-signed by the team, but it may not be possible with their limited cap space. John Hollinger of The Athletic reported that Fournier could be looking for a deal landing him roughly $13.4 million per year, which would be a bargain for the Celtics.
On top of their salary cap struggles, Boston does not have a first round pick in the upcoming draft. Unless they trade into the first round from their current spot at 45, they’re probably looking at a pick-and-stash player that won’t make an impact in 2022.
The obvious storyline for the Celtics this offseason is the Jayson Tatum-Bradley Beal team-up that seems to be inevitable at this point. Tatum and Beal were playing together for Team USA this summer (prior to Beal’s positive Covid test) and have talked about playing with each other in the past.
Boston could attempt to trade for Beal this offseason, but that would almost certainly cost them Jaylen Brown. They could instead roll the dice and try to sign him during the 2022-2023 offseason as a UFA, but that would involve freeing up a max contract slot, agreeing to terms with Beal, etc.
As for the rest of the Association, the Nets hold the best odds to win the Finals in 2022, sitting at +325 to bring the Larry O’Brien home. Brooklyn was favored to win it all for most of this past season, but injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving got in their way of a championship.
The Milwaukee Bucks hold 7/1 (+700) odds to repeat as champions. They have the third best odds behind the Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The runner up Suns have 9/1 (+900) odds to win it all in 2022. These odds will strongly depend on if they are able to bring back point guard Chris Paul, who is set to become a free agent.
Check out the full list of odds at Betonline.ag.