Durant trade request sends sportsbooks scrambling to adjust NBA Championship odds

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

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The Brooklyn Nets super team never really worked out for a variety of reasons and now the best player wants out. Kevin Durant requested a trade directly with owner Joe Tsai and now Brooklyn will try to seek out a partner with the right kind of return of picks and players.

The return will be massive, as Durant, who will turn 34 next season, has averaged at least 25 points per game every season except for his 19-year-old rookie year with the Seattle Supersonics (RIP) back in 2007-08. KD was limited to 55 games last season, but scored 29.9 points and pulled down 7.4 rebounds per contest.

Oddsmakers raced to get out in front of futures action, lowering the price on the Phoenix Suns from 9/1 to 6/1 at DraftKings, while other sportsbooks made similar moves. The Miami Heat also seem like a potential destination for Durant, as their odds dropped from 16/1 to + 850. The Nets were adjusted up to 25/1, a sizable move from 7/1, which could be interesting, given that Brooklyn doesn’t have to honor the trade request if the right package isn’t available.

Sportsbooks had to react, even without knowing the destination, to avoid getting overexposed on one or more of the potential destinations. There would be speculation wagers, but also the possibility of somebody "in the know" getting a jump on the market. As a result, it was better to move quickly and err on the side of caution.

At time of publish, the Heat moved back to 10/1 at DK, while the Nets actually got pushed all the way out to 50/1. The recent breakup with Kyrie Irving had already had an impact on Brooklyn’s perception and price, but the Durant news was the cherry on top.

As we saw with the NBA Draft and the crazy odds movement, there are some out there with bankrolls and influence that get inside info, so the sportsbooks had to be proactive in adjusting the prices, especially on the teams rumored to be on Durant’s wish list.

We’ll see how this plays out and we’ll see how many teams not only have the trade capital to send to Brooklyn, but are willing to make such a huge move that could potentially mortgage the future. Durant does have four years remaining on his contract, so there will be more than a handful of potential suitors.

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