The odds are in, and the Celtics are the favorites to land Kristaps Porzingis.
Per the betting service BetOnline, the Celtics have 2/1 odds to acquire the big man from the Mavericks, who just lost a gut-wrenching seven-game series to the Clippers. The Warriors are second with 9/4 odds. BDC’s Tom Westerholm has the write up.
The Mavericks acquired Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks last year in exchange for two first-round picks. While Hardaway impressed this postseason, Porzingis reverted to an uninspiring big man who just hangs around the three-point line. He averaged a mere 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game against Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, Mark Cuban alluded to the reported friction between Porzingis and Luka Doncic. If the Mavericks must choose between them, Doncic would obviously stay, and Porzingis would be on his way out.
So why do the Celtics make sense? They’re thin up front, and questions remain about Robert Williams’ ability to stay healthy at the NBA level. Swapping Kemba Walker for Porzingis also works financially for both clubs.
Porzingis, 25, averaged 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in Dallas last season. Suffice to say, the Celtics could use that kind of production from their center.
Meanwhile, Boston possesses the third-best odds to land Bradley Beal at 13/4, behind Warriors (11/4) and Knicks (3/1). Any package for Beal would almost certainly include either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, as well as multiple first-round picks. The three-time All-Star is longtime friends with Tatum.
Though the Celtics have been linked to Beal for at least a year, Damian Lillard may be the grand prize of the offseason. Teams around the league are monitoring his availability, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. Chris Mannix told “Tanguay & Hart” the Celtics are in good position to land Lillard, who’s about to enter a four-year, $176 million super max contract.
If Portland shops him, Boston is going to be in a good position,” Mannix said. “If you look around, Bradley Beal is not going to go to Portland because he’s not going to re-sign there. You have to get guys to Portland that are on long-term contracts, and Jaylen Brown is one of those young guys, 24 years old, that would fit that bill.”
The oddsmakers aren’t as bullish on Boston’s chances. They have 9/2 odds to nab Lillard — sixth-best in the NBA. The Knicks, 76ers, Heat, Lakers and Clippers are all ahead of them.