Oddsmakers don’t want to wait for a Damian Lillard trade to happen.
Lillard requested a trade, sources say Confirmed to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, and the Miami Heat is his preferred destination. Whoever lands the Portland Trail Blazers guard, if he is dealt, will boost his NBA championship odds.
Sportsbooks are not going to allow bettors to win at +1600 expecting a huge trade. Miami’s prospects have already taken a major turn.
Heat moves on in title odds
Heat Championship odds have moved from +1600 to +900 At BetMGM Lillard could be in Miami by the end of the week.
That puts the Heat among the top five favorites, according to BetMGM’s odds:
Denver Nuggets +475
Boston Celtics +500
Phoenix Suns +600
Milwaukee Bucks +700
Of course, the Heat had a good run without Lillard. Miami entered the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, and then their impressive run ended in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
Heat Lillard isn’t necessarily a title contender, though they lost two pieces from the roster in free agency. There’s no reason to believe Miami can’t make another deep run as currently constructed.
But getting Lillard would be huge for him.
Damian Lillard could make a big impact
Lillard is a seven-time All-Star and averaged 32.2 points last season. But Portland hasn’t had much success with him, never getting the right pieces around their star guard to make a run. That doesn’t mean Lillard, even at 33, can’t be a big part of a championship team.
Pairing Lillard with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Miami’s other perimeter threats could lead to another shift in their title odds. They should have the shortest title odds of any team in the East, and they could add Lillard without splitting too much of the roster in a trade.
Bettors know a Lillard trade could change the NBA championship odds. The Heat would make the most sense for a Lillard trade. Some of the value in betting the Heat is gone, but there will still be plenty of Miami bets coming in if the Heat pull off that big trade.