The futures for the NBA Championship have been adjusted again following a weekend full of free agents signings. Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks, while Pau Gasol exited Los Angeles for Chicago.
When LeBron James signed for Cleveland the frenzy of free agency in the NBA was just beginning. Moves over the weekend impacted the outlook for the NBA for the 2014-15 season.
Gasol signed with the Bulls and will be paired with center Joakim Noah. That gives Chicago the best NBA passing frontcourt.
Whether or not that translates to more wins will eventually be seen, but the two skilled big men should help open the Bulls offense.
Last season Gasol averaged 17 points, close to 10 rebounds and over 3 assists per game.
Chicago opened on Bovada and betonline following the NBA Finals at 12 to 1, but following the signing of Gasol that was halved to 6 to 1.
The Bulls were at 6 to 1 as early as last Friday since some bookmakers, such as sportsbook.com and topbet figured Anthony and or Gasol might sign for the Bulls.
For Chicago to be valued at such a price, oft-injured Derrick Rose must remain healthy following knee issues that have kept him out most of two straight seasons.
If Rose can stay healthy and Chicago gets offensive help from Doug McDermott their rookie from Creighton on the perimeter, the team could once again be a legitimate contender.
Carmelo Anthony was at one time said to be going to Miami to form the Big Four or joining James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston, but in the end, he re-signed to play in the Big Apple with the Knicks.
The Knicks opened at 50 to 1 and that has been shortened to 40 to 1, which is a slight adjustment but would have been much more significant the other way if he had signed with another team.
With Anthony leading the way, New York reached the second round of the playoffs in 2013 therefore a return this season to the postseason with Derek Fisher as the head coach will not be a stretch.
The Heat lost LeBron but was able to re-sign Chris Bosh. Of course, they are not in the title contender discussions at this point, but are re-assembling their franchise and should be a strong contender for the postseason.
The Heat expect that Dwayne Wade will also re-sign giving them two-thirds of the Big Three back in the fold. Miami also signed Luol Deng who will be their new small forward replacing James.
The Heat went from their opening price of 2 to 1 following the NBA Finals, to 100 to 1 after LeBron departed. They have been readjusted with the signing of Bosh, Deng and possibly Wade to 30 to 1.
Top Five NBA Championship Futures
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 7 to 2
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS 4 to 1
OKLAHOMA THUNDER 9 to 2
CHICAGO BULLS 6 to 1
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 8 to 1