2023 NBA odds: James Harden trade to Clippers shifts title odds

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James Harden’s blockbuster trade to the LA Clippers has altered the NBA landscape, as well as the championship odds.

The trade sends Harden — along with P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev — to the Clippers and returns significant assets to the Philadelphia 76ers, including Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, the Clippers’ 2026 protected first-round pick (via OKC), the Clippers’ 2028 unprotected first-round pick, along with a 2024 second-round pick (via LAC) and a 2029 second-round pick (via LAC).

Still, despite the massive haul for Philly, it’s the Clippers that oddsmakers believe have inched closer to an NBA title on Tuesday.

As a result of the swap, the Clippers’ odds of winning the NBA finals have shortened from +2200 to +1300 (bet $10 to win $140). They now have the fifth-shortest odds to win the title behind the Celtics (+370), Bucks (+410), Nuggets (+500) and Suns (+600).

Harden, 34, is a 10-time All-Star, six-time first-team All-NBA selection and won league MVP in 2018. He’s led the league in scoring three times (2018-2020) and led it in assists twice, including last season (2017, 2023). 

However, over the last few seasons, Harden has become better known for his trade requests than his impressive accolades, asking for trades out of Houston, Brooklyn and now, Philly. 

Because of that reputation, Skip Bayless said Tuesday on “Undisputed” that he believes Harden will soon enough want out of Los Angeles as well, adding in the fact that Harden plays the same position as Clippers current point guard and future Hall of Famer Russell Westbrook.

“In honor of Halloween, the Clippers just fell into the worst nightmare they’ve ever been in. … He’s now on his fourth team in 22 months. He has quit his way out of three teams and I do not doubt that at some point fairly soon he will quit his way even out of his home area. Now [Clippers head coach] Ty Lue has these two biggest headaches in the NBA in the same backcourt playing the same position. … I don’t know how it’s gonna work.”

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