The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone and the league will never be the same again. With multiple superstar player being shipped out to new destinations the entire landscape of the NBA has been flipped upside down.
One of the biggest trades of this year’s deadline came late on Wednesday night after the Toronto Raptors had just completed a routing of the San Antonio Spurs, the teams decided to link up and make a deal post-game. The Spurs shipped out the coveted centre and 2023 Unrestricted Free Agent, Jakob Poeltl back to the team that drafted him in 2016, the Raptors.
After completing this trade, the floodgates began to open throughout the league, as multiple trades began to commence. While the Raptors reuniting with their former-ninth overall draft selection makes sense on paper, let’s take a deep dive into how this has effected the teams odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship.
Toronto Raptors Championship Odds Post-2023 Trade Deadline
Currently tied with the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers with the 17th-highest odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship, this move certainly hasn’t transformed the Raptors into title contenders in the eyes of oddsmakers. At +15000 the Raps continue to sit as a longshot to compete for the Larr O’Brien Trophy as they find themselves jumbled up in a tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
While this move was certainly a positive in terms of overall talent returned to the Raptors in this deal, since the deadline closed the Raptors championship odds actually dropped. Previously sitting at +13000, the Raptors continued to fall down the odds table even after upgrading mightily at the five.
This may have less to do with the success of the Raptors trade for Poeltl and more to do with the several blockbuster deals involving contending teams from around the league that ultimately shook up all the NBA Championship odds. This move may not have brought the Raptors back into championship contention off the bat, but only time will tell as we proceed to see how their 2022-23 campaign shakes out.
What Will Poeltl Bring to the Table for the Raptors?
One of the top interior defenders in the NBA, Jakob Poeltl will be an immediate impact player for the Raptors. Having averaged 9.1 rebounds per game and over a block an outing, Poeltl will be a difference maker in the Raptors biggest position of need.
Having a familiarity with the team, city, and even some of his new teammates, Poeltl will fit into the Raptors lineup effortlessly and will make a winning impact right away. Pairing him in the frontcourt alongside close friend and fellow 2016 Raptors draftee, Pascal Siakam, look for the duo to compliment each other well on the court, while improving the overall team chemistry and morale of the team.
In this deal the Raptors said goodbye to Montreal-native Khem Birch, as well as their 2024 first-round pick and two future second-round selections. This move will have a great effect on the Raptors currently, but this deal may come back to bite them depending on how the team performs next year, now without ownership of their own first-round selection.
Overall, Poeltl will be a welcome addition to a team devoid of centre depth, will help increase their production on the glass, and bring a fresh new positive attitude to a team looking for a spark.
Other Trades that Impacted NBA Championship Odds
The Jakob Poeltl trade was not the only big trade announced ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline as a plethora of moves went down that have completely altered the 2023 NBA Championship Odds. Find the top line moving moves below.
- Kevin Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns, boosting their title odds from +1870 to +450, the second-best odds in the NBA behind the Boston Celtics.
- After dealing Durant to the Suns as well as Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, the Brooklyn Nets plummeted from +2200 to +8000 to win this year’s NBA Championship.
- Swooping in and making a smart, under-the-radar move, the New York Knicks reunited Villanova Wildcat teammates Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart to increase their title odds from +20000 to +15000.
- Committing to rebuilding, the Utah Jazz moved on from Mike Conley in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves which resulted in their title odds dropping from+27000 to +40000.
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