And just like that, they’re back on top.
Late last week, when the Bucks acquired star point guard Damien Lillard in a trade with the Trailblazers, the Celtics fell out of the front-running position they were in on FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds to win the 2023-24 NBA Finals.
In said Lillard trade, Milwaukee shipped guard Jrue Holiday to Portland and just about immediately, was working with them to find a new landing spot.
He’s now a Celtic. President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens made the trade happen on Sunday morning in a move that shot Boston back up the FanDuel board. They’re now tied with the Bucks at +380. Here’s the top five:
Odds to Win 2023-2024 NBA Finals
Boston Celtics +380
Milwaukee Bucks +380
Phoenix Suns +550
Denver Nuggets +600
Los Angeles Lakers +1300
In Boston’s trade for Holiday, they sent C Robert Williams, G Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 1st-round pick (from GSW), and a 2029 unprotected 1st-round pick.
Here’s CLNS Media Celtics report Bobby Manning’s take on the move:
“Boston will instantly emerge as championship favorites by uniting all-defensive guards Holiday and Derrick White alongside stars Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porziņģis. Depth becomes a question, as do financial considerations into the future, but few, if any lineups can match the two-way potency of that group, which now includes post size and scoring, along with on-ball defense and playmaking last year’s group lacked. For those concerned about losing Smart, Holiday would top the list of contenders for that role. He also joins a group vying to challenge his former Milwaukee Bucks, who traded Holiday for Damian Lillard last week.”
The Celtics kicked off their 2023-24 campaign on Monday at Media Day from the Auerbach Center. Head coach Joe Mazzulla spoke about the team’s high expectations:
“No one is going to have higher expectations than I have for myself and that we have as a player. We know the end goal is to win a championship. That’s why everyone does what they do, that’s why we spend the entire season away from our families. That’s why we have positive emotions, negative emotions. At the end of the day it’s like, we’re all trying to achieve something that’s really, really hard.”
He continued: “I always say I’d rather be in a city like this that has high expectations instead of going somewhere that there are no expectations.”
Boston’s regular season begins on Wednesday, October 25th at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.