With the NBA All-Star Game now in the rearview mirror on the sports betting calendar, it's time to turn our attention to the run towards the postseason. As we head towards those crucial March games at the end of the year, it's easy to see that virtually every team is at least still somewhat arguably in contention for a playoff spot aside from Brooklyn.
What that means is that there's going to be a really hard time discerning buyers from sellers at the trade deadline which comes up this week.
The trading season kicked off in essence last week when Orlando moved Serge Ibaka to Toronto for essentially Terrence Ross and a first round draft pick. Things got even more interesting the night of the All-Star Game when New Orleans scored the biggest trading chip of the season by picking up DeMarcus Cousins in exchange for Buddy Hield and a host of other lesser options.
Why were these deals so interesting? Because the teams who made them weren't anywhere near out of the equation.
The Magic were 5.5-games out of the last playoff spot in the East at the time of the Ibaka trade, while the Kings were just 1.5-games back from the last playoff spot in the West when they gave up on Boogie.
But the path for both teams is imminently clear.
Orlando desired to get something back for Ibaka, who will walk at the end of the season, and it got a pretty darn good haul with the reasonable salary of Terrence Ross and a first round pick, albeit one that almost certainly won't end up in the lottery.
Sacramento, in spite of the fact that it effectively could have locked up Cousins for the rest of his career in another year and a half by giving him one of the richest contracts in NBA history, decided that it couldn't win with him in the locker room. The Kings have been trying for seven years to get into the playoffs, and even though they were close to ultimately getting there this year and probably would have gotten the job done if they had become buyers instead of sellers at the trade deadline, they elected to make the move.
And as far as the Pelicans are concerned? They're actually a game behind Sacramento heading into the second half of the season and still have several teams both in front of and behind them that could yet snare that last playoff spot in the West. But the last thing they wanted to do was continue to spoil the prime years of Anthony Davis. Putting Boogie and the Brow together might not make the most sense in the world in terms of fit, but there's no doubting that this is immediately a significantly better team, albeit one with a huge hole to plug in the backcourt with both Hield and Tyreke Evans moving on.
The real question that you need to decipher is how all of this will translate to the NBA betting odds at BetCris. Regardless as to whether you believe the Pelicans are now capable of shocking someone in the West or if you think the Kings are going to be more respectable with addition by subtraction thanks to Cousins, you can place your wagers and earn valuable BetPoints at BetCris.
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