The Celtics made the latest move in what has turned into an arms race in the Eastern Conference, trading for All-Star guard Jrue Holiday on Sunday, a deal that sportsbooks believe got Boston one step closer to a title.
In the wake of a trade that sent star guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks — for a package that included Holiday — the Celtics didn’t back down to their Eastern Conference foe, shipping Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and a pair of first-round picks to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Holiday.
Milwaukee’s big splash made it title favorites on Wednesday, as the Bucks sat at +400 on both BetMGM and DraftKings, while Boston’s odds went to +500 on both books.
But not even a week later, the Celtics are back in contention.
Boston now sits alongside the Bucks at +400 as the odds-on favorites to win the title on DraftKings. The Celtics are also at +400 at BetMGM, but Milwaukee has moved up to +375.
Meanwhile, FanDuel has both squads at +380, with the next closest team, the Phoenix Suns, sitting at +550. As they try to win back-to-back championships, the Denver Nuggets have the third-best odds at BetMGM and DraftKings, listed at +500 on both books.
Holiday, 33, is a two-time All-Star and averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.2 steals last season in 67 games (65 starts). He is entering his 15th NBA season.
Boston also acquired big man Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, but the Celtics did lose their longest-tenured player in guard Marcus Smart and bench piece Grant Williams.
Boston opens its season Oct. 25 against the New York Knicks, while the Bucks tip off theirs a day later against the Philadelphia 76ers.
–Field Level Media