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Harden’s Move To LA Clippers Shifts NBA Betting Landscape

James Harden's trade to LA Clippers shakes up NBA betting odds for 2023-2024 season.

A big trade happened in the National Basketball Association (NBA) that is having a big impact on the sports betting odds for the 2023-2024 season.

Here’s a look at the deal and the odds impacted.

A view of the live LA Clippers game at Arena (formerly known as the Staples Center). The LA Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers made a blockbuster trade that included James Harden. (MARIUS CHRISTENSEN/UNSPLASHED) 

Many NBA fans were excited to see the debut of San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama and players suiting up for new teams. In the coming days, fans will see NBA star James Harden suit up for a new team.

Harden was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal first reported by ESPN on Monday night. The trade will also see P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev traded to the Clippers. The 76ers will get Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin and multiple draft picks back from the Clippers.

The deal with the Clippers will mark the fifth NBA team in Harden’s career and his third team in the past five seasons. Playing in 1,000 NBA games, Harden has spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and now the Clippers.

In 1,000 career NBA games, Harden has averages of 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 7.0 assists. Harden has averaged over 10 assists in each of his last five seasons but has seen his point averages of 21.0 per game in the last two seasons mark his lowest in more than a decade.

Harden previously averaged 30 points per game in three straight seasons from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020. Harden was the scoring champ in those three seasons and also won the NBA MVP in 2018. Harden is a 10x All-Star, ranks among the top 25 in NBA points and assists all time and was named as one of the 75 best NBA players of all time in the league’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Earlier this year, Harden requested to be traded from the 76ers and called the team’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey “a liar” in several public appearances. Harden has not played in any of the 76ers’ 2023-2024 games.

With the trade, the Clippers now have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Harden, four recognizable NBA star names.

Harden has reached only one NBA finals in his career and is among the best players statistic-wise to never win an NBA Championship. With their newest trade, the Clippers will hope to win their first NBA Championship in franchise history.

Criticism of Harden in recent years has been about his playoff performances, which often trail his regular season output. In 160 playoff games, Harden averaged 22.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

Sportsbook BetMGM, which is a joint venture of MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Entain, poked fun at the playoff history of Harden on Monday with a Twitter post called “The James Harden Cycle.”

“Harden gets traded to new team & fanbase gets excited. He lights it up in the regular season. The Playoffs come around & he chokes in big games. His team goes out sad and then he requests a trade,” said BetMGM on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The impact of the trade helped make the Clippers one of the top favorites to win the 2023-2024 NBA Championship.

At DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ:DKNG), the Clippers are listed with odds of +1200 to win the NBA Championship, tied with the Golden State Warriors for the fifth-best odds. Ranking ahead of the Clippers are the Boston Celtics (+390), Milwaukee Bucks (+400), Denver Nuggets (+500) and Phoenix Suns (+700).

Prior to the trade, the Clippers had odds of +1700 to win the NBA Championship. The 76ers also saw its odds slightly improve going from +1900 to +1800.

The Clippers are one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference at odds of +700, tied for third best and trailing only the Denver Nuggets (+250) and Phoenix Suns (+330).

At BetMGM, the Clippers NBA Championship odds improved from +2200 to +1300 after the trade. The sportsbook has the MVP odds for Harden listed at +15,000.

The Clippers made the NBA Playoffs in seven of the last 10 years and lost the Western Conference Finals in 2021.


Produced in association with Benzinga

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