NBA 2020 Championship Odds: Lakers, Bucks, Sixers and Nets Among Title Favorites

After one of the most stunning eight hours in the history of free agency, the NBA of the past five years is no more.

The Golden State Warriors no longer reign supreme in the league, the Brooklyn Nets will soon be a force to be reckoned with and the Utah Jazz look, on paper, like a Conference Final contender.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally secured a second All-Star to play alongside LeBron James and the Philadelphia 76ers can now legitimately claim to have one of the best defenses in the league.

After half a decade of near-total Warriors domination, the NBA is wide open. That scenario could change again before the end of the week, depending on what Kawhi Leonard decides to do.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP is an unrestricted free agent after declining his player option. Whichever team he chooses to sign for will probably automatically become the title favorite.

That team could well be the Los Angeles Lakers who, after four days of free agency, have emerged as the bookmakers' choice to win the 2020 NBA title.

According to BetOnline, the Lakers are 3/1 to lift the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy next season. The 16-time NBA champions were a 7/1 shot when they traded for Anthony Davis two weeks ago, and they now have enough cap space to add a third max contract to their roster.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis
LeBron James celebrates with Anthony Davis after the end of the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. The duo will play together in Los Angeles next season. Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Whether that means Las Vegas oddsmakers believe Leonard will sign with the Lakers or that pairing LeBron with Davis already puts them head and shoulders above the rest of the league remains to be seen.

Combining Leonard with James and Davis would make the Lakers formidable, but it would also leave them with precious little cap space to fill up their roster.

Behind them, the Milwaukee Bucks are an 8/1 favorite to end a title drought that stretches back to 1972. The Bucks were the best team in the regular season and in Giannis Antetokounmpo they have the reigning MVP.

Milwaukee had to loosen the purse strings to retain Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and George Hill, but Malcolm Brogdon's demands were considered a step too far and so he signed for the Indiana Pacers.

Two of the Bucks' Eastern Conference rivals, the Sixers and the Nets, are next in line for the title at 9/1.

Philadelphia lost J.J. Redick and Jimmy Butler, but retained Tobias Harris, who signed a five-year deal, and added Josh Richardson. Crucially, the Sixers secured the services of Al Horford for the next four years, after the 33-year-old decided to leave Boston.

During his time with the Celtics, Horford was a constant thorn in the Sixers' side and pairing him with Joel Embiid will give Philadelphia one of the best defenses in the league.

The Nets, meanwhile, have fast-tracked their rebuild after pulling off the signings of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.

However, with the former likely to be sidelined for the whole of next season as he recovers from a torn Achilles, the Nets might have to bide their time before challenging for the title.

Brooklyn has lost D'Angelo Russell to Golden State but the 23-year-old will not be enough to fill the void left by Durant, particularly as the Warriors will also be without Klay Thompson for a large chunk of the season as he recovers from a ruptured ACL.

Along with the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, Golden State is a 10/1 shot to win the title.

The Raptors' odds could shorten significantly should Leonard opt to extend his stay in Canada, while the Rockets did not roll the dice in free agency and will hope Chris Paul and James Harden can put their personal differences aside next season.

Beyond the trio, the Boston Celtics are a 14/1 shot, followed by the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers at 16/1 and the Jazz at 20/1.

As is the case for the Raptors, the Clippers could become one of the favorites, should they land Leonard.

NBA 2020 Championship Odds: Lakers, Bucks, Sixers and Nets Among Title Favorites | Sports
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