NBA betting: Nets' Finals odds double after Kyrie Irving's reported trade request as Lakers' odds improve

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 30: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles as Patrick Beverley #21 and Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers defend during the second half  at Barclays Center on January 30, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets won 121-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Are the Los Angeles Lakers the prime suitor for Kyrie Irving before the trade deadline? (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Oddsmakers immediately reacted bearishly to the report that Kyrie Irving had requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets had been at +700 to win the NBA Finals at BetMGM earlier on Friday. After reports emerged that Irving wanted out before the Feb. 9 trade deadline and would leave the team over the summer if he wasn’t traded, Brooklyn’s title odds doubled to +1400.

Brooklyn has been one of the favorites to win the title thanks to the duo of Irving and Kevin Durant. Brooklyn has been phenomenal with both players on the court and the team sits fourth in the East as it awaits Durant’s return from a knee injury.

Now Brooklyn is the No. 8 favorite to win the NBA title behind the Celtics, Bucks, Nuggets, Warriors, 76ers, Grizzlies and Clippers. Boston is at +325 to win the title after being at +400 at the midway point while the Bucks are +600 and the Nuggets are at +700.

Lakers odds get better

While the Nets’ odds got longer Friday afternoon, the Lakers’ odds got shorter. Los Angeles made the relatively modest move from +4000 to +3000 to win the title as discussions of a reunion between Irving and LeBron James have never really gone away.

A trade to Los Angeles would need to involve Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract and likely one or both of the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round picks. The Lakers don’t have any other logical players to trade if they were to make a move for Irving and the picks would likely have to be involved to get the Nets to consider the deal. Any Westbrook-Irving deal wouldn’t benefit the Nets in the short term unless nostalgic vibes about a reunion of Durant and Westbrook somehow translate to wins.

The Lakers are currently a game out of 10th in an incredibly congested West after beating the Pacers on Thursday night. While Los Angeles is currently out of the playoff mix, it's also just three games out of fifth place.

NBA Finals odds

  • Boston Celtics (+325)

  • Milwaukee Bucks (+600)

  • Denver Nuggets (+700)

  • Golden State Warriors (+900)

  • Philadelphia 76ers (+1000)

  • Memphis Grizzlies (+1100)

  • Los Angeles Clippers (+1200)

  • Brooklyn Nets (+1400)

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (+1800)

  • Phoenix Suns (+1800)