NBA
February 11, 2022

2022 NBA Post-Trade Deadline Futures: Best Bets

The NBA trade deadline has officially passed, which means it's time to take a look at some updated futures.

There were a lot of big names on the move, but there was not a bigger trade than the James Harden for Ben Simmons swap between Brooklyn and Philadelphia. The Nets also received Seth CurryAndre Drummond, and two future picks while the 76ers also received Paul Millsap in the deal.

Obviously, this blockbuster affected the futures market for the rest of the season, and it is time to take a look at the post-trade deadline futures market and give out some winners that future you will thank past you for taking.

NBA Championship

  • Brooklyn Nets (+420)
  • Golden State Warriors (+460)
  • Phoenix Suns (+500)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (+600)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (+650)
  • Miami Heat (+1100)

Brooklyn remains a slight favorite over the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns to win the NBA Finals. Despite Brooklyn's active 10-game losing streak, when fully healthy, and playing on the road, a lineup of Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, and now Simmons is as good as any team's.

On the other side, the 76ers got a massive boost as current MVP favorite Joel Embiid (+220), has a superstar around him that can actually shoot the basketball. I am not saying that Simmons is a bad player, in fact, he is far from bad, but his inability to hit jumpers has certainly cost the 76ers a chance at a Championship.

But Simmons is now surrounded by playmakers like Durant and Irving, and with Curry coming over, he has some sharpshooters he can dish the ball to. It is being reported that Simmons is working with the team psychologist to help him ease back into playing, but when the Nets are at full strength, they are going to be scary, and I think Simmons will work out perfectly for Brooklyn in the long run.

However, Irving is only cleared to play road games due to New York's vaccine mandate, and Durant has been dealing with injuries all season. Currently, the East is wide open with the Heat in first as of this moment, but Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia are all close behind.

In the Western Conference, the Suns have a 4.5 game lead over the Warriors, and Phoenix holds the best record in the NBA at 45-10. Last year's Western Conference champ is in prime position to go back to the NBA Finals as they have proved through the first half of the season that last year was not a fluke.

With how well both Phoenix and Golden State have played this year, it will be hard to pick against either. However, we are on the hunt for value here. The 76ers have not been as good this season, but the addition of Harden makes them lethal in all phases of the game. They were one of my favorite bets before the season started, and I still think they are a little undervalued here.

Pick: 76ers (+650)

NBA MVP

  • Joel Embiid (+220)
  • Nikola Jokic (+340)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (+360)
  • Stephen Curry (+550)
  • Ja Morant (+1200)
  • Chris Paul (+2400)

Jokic, who won the MVP last season may be playing better ball this season. Over his last 13 games, he has recorded seven triple-doubles, and his numbers are slightly better across the board.

He currently sits behind Embiid as the betting favorite, but with Harden coming into Philadelphia, you have to imagine Embiid's numbers will take a dip. Even if it is not by a significant amount, Harden is going to take a lot of shots and possessions away from the big man.

Obviously, it is easier to win the MVP if you are the focal point of your team. That is why Jokic won last season and is the current favorite. Everything runs through him for the Nuggets. Again, however, we are taking a look at value, and a +220 future does not carry a lot of juice. Sure, hitting a bet at that value is awesome, but if you are taking a future, the juice is the most important factor to me.

With the Warriors once again surging, Curry has a lot of value, especially since he is slumping right now. Curry is not bad enough to slump for the rest of the season, and at one point, he was the "obvious MVP" so he has that narrative around him this year. That is the dumb part of these end-of-season awards, but there is no use fighting it, narrative drives this league.

If the Warriors can clinch the best record in the NBA, which they sit 4.5 games behind the Suns for that distinction, Curry is going to win the MVP, especially if he comes out in the second half of the season like he did to start this season.

Pick: Stephen Curry (+550)

Defensive Player Of the Year:

  • Draymond Green (+200)
  • Rudy Gobert (+200)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (+390)

These three have been battling it out all year, and at this point, it is any man's race. Gobert has not played since Jan. 24, so if you are looking to maximize your value on a Gobert future, I would swoop in right now and take him at +200. His value might not get better at this point.

It is scary to bet on a three-time winner of this award, but there is a reason he is a three-time winner. The dude can play some defense.

Pick: Rudy Gobert (+200)

Rookie Of The Year:

  • Evan Mobley (-300)
  • Scottie Barnes (+800)
  • Cade Cunningham (+800)

With all due respect to Barnes and Cunningham, unless Mobley retires in the middle of the season, I do not think anybody is going to overtake him for the ROY. Mobley is averaging 14.9 points, 8.2 boards, and 1.7 blocks so far, and he has paired wonderfully with Jarrett Allen in Cleveland.

If the Cavs continue to surge, so will Mobley, and so will the likelihood that he is the Rookie Of The Year. I know I have been preaching to look for value, but I do not think anyone will catch up to him.

Pick: Evan Mobley (-300)

Sixth Man Of The Year:

  • Tyler Herro (-750)
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. (+1600)
  • Kevin Love (+3500)

Herro is going to win it just because of his stats, and the Heat are the best team in the East at the moment, but he is averaging 32.9 minutes per game as a sixth man. The only reason he is not considered a starter is that he is not on the court when the ball is tipped.

If his current minutes per game holds, he would have the second-most minutes per game for a sixth man, just behind Jason Terry in 2008-2009 (33.7).

Pick: Tyler Herro (-750)

Photo: Getty Images