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The PUP List’s ’17-’18 NBA Futures Odds Picks and Predictions

By: Alex Marcheschi

The NBA is back, and along with it comes all the spoils the world’s greatest league has to offer. LeBron and his long-lost brother,¬†Dwyane Wade, have reunited in Cleveland, and they’ll be joined by D-Rose in a wild turn of events that would have exploded 2011 me’s brain into a million pieces.

The Warriors are obviously still the team to beat as they only added to their arsenal of death. They are truly the greatest sports team ever assembled and if we’re being honest, it will take a miracle for anyone to beat them in a seven game series. They will almost inevitably win it all, but that doesn’t render the regular season meaningless. In fact, it only makes it better. The Warriors have made every NBA owner who wants to contend for a title channel their inner Ron Burgundy and blow their conch shell to oblivion as they attempt to assemble their finest news team.

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In the West, the Thunder went out and grabbed Paul George and Melo in two amazing deals, the Rockets added CP3, the T Wolves got Jimmy Buckets and the Spurs doubled down on their squad, and all of it probably won’t matter at all. But, and this is a big but (no offense to Tristan Thompson’s baby mama), there’s a chance it does matter. And that small sliver of hope is enough to keep me begging for more like a kid who just chugged a Sprite at an establishment that offers free refills. Let’s get into these futures odds.

Most Improved Player 

D’Angelo Russell (+600)

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D Loading got the change of scenery he needed, and there’s plenty of rock to go around in BK. The Lakers were an absolute shit show while he was there, and to be honest he was never given a fair shake. He can get buckets with the best of them, and I think he has a renewed sense of determination with his new team. He’s out to prove that he isn’t a bust, and I think he’ll succeed. Expect a big year from the former Buckeye.

Defensive Player of The Year

Patrick Beverly (+2500)

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Don’t look now, but Doc Rivers has himself a grizzled, gnarly, defensive-minded guard again and he truly gives zero fucks. Patrick Beverley will have the tough task of running the show and defending a gauntlet of PGs in the West, but the Clippers’ new skipper has all the heart you could want in a man running your ship. He has insane value at +2500 and I think if he succeeds this season, the voters will respect his tough assignments and give DPOY to him.

Scoring Champ

Damian Lillard (+1500)

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Lillard finished sixth in total points scored last year and last year’s champ, Russell Westbrook, has two other bucket hungry dudes on his team now. Russ won’t repeat, and I think Lillard will come for the crown. He’s probably the most motivated guy in the league and he has ice running through his veins. He just dropped an album and he’s been giving out quotes that make me think he’s gunning for that number one spot *Ludacris voice*. +1500 is great value for him, and I think he’s gonna have the super duper green light to just shoot whenever he feels like it.

Rookie of The Year

Josh Jackson (+1200)

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Even though the lightweight bucket getting champion of the world, Devin Booker, runs the show in Phoenix, there are still some buckets to be had. He’ll get his shot to score and he’s probably the most explosive rookie in the league right now. He’s getting overlooked with the likes of Lonzo and Fultz in the spotlight. +1200 is a steal here.

Sixth Man of The Year

Rudy Gay (+2000)

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Sneaky huge acquisition here by the Spurs. Pop will get the most out of him for sure, and I think Rudy will come off the bench and fill it up all year. Feed me him at +2000 for Sixth Man, feed me!!!!!

Coach of The Year

Billy Donovan (+800)

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I think Billy took offense to KD slandering him this offseason, and he actually did a great job getting the Thunder the #6 seed with that roster. Yes, Russ went off, but the rest of that team was awful. This year he has three of the best players in the league with Russ, Paul George and Melo. Some think they’ll struggle to gel on offense, but I think Billy has something up his sleeve. I envision the Thunder running a revolutionary offense with screen and rolls out the ass and Melo getting buckets like old times.

MVP

John Wall (+2500)

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This is my craziest pick, but just hear me out. Wall just agreed to a huge extension that will pay him $207 million to stay in Washington until 2023. He’s officially their guy and I think he now feels respected by the team’s owner. He rarely gets talked about when people discuss the best players in the league, but he is undoubtedly one of them. Kyrie is grabbing all the point guard attention in the East, but the facts are that the East is extremely weak once again and Wall will have an opportunity to eat every single night. He has the weapons around him to rack up the assists now with both Beal and Porter looking great, he can score at will and he’s sneakily great at defense. Kobe just challenged him to make the First Team All Defense team, and if he does that on top of filling up the stat sheet, he could easily win MVP. I’m still not ready to say the Celtics are better than the Wizards, and I think if the Wizards challenge Cleveland for the #1 seed, or even just finish in the #2 spot ahead of Boston, Wall will be the MVP.

ECF Champ

Cavs (-200)

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Shoooooweeee, that’s a pretty roster. Yes, they lost Kyrie and he is irreplaceable, but they are much deeper now and a lack of depth is what hurt them last year. They’re -200 for a reason, there’s not much to talk about here. LeBron goes to The Finals for the eighth straight time.

WCF Champ

Warriors (-500)

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They’re going to be so good, it’s disgusting. Nothing more to say. Damn it.

Champion

Cavs (+400)

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Yes, I know you probably expected this if you read this blog. Look, I know the Warriors are the heavy favorite, and that’s exactly why I didn’t pick them. They’re -250 to win it all. Too boring, terrible value. If the Cavs can somehow make it to the Finals completely healthy, it will be a good series. Mark my words. The Cavs should have won game three last year and it was supposed to be a 2-2 series at one point, but the basketball gods fell asleep at the wheel and evil prevailed. Look out for a huuuuuge K Love year. Huge, I’m talking Minnesota Love numbers. They’re so damn deep, just look at that roster pic before. I really think they’re going to end up with Cousins when all is said and done too, but even if they don’t, +400 is pretty juicy.

IT is a dawg and he plays historically well against the Warriors. D Wade still has it when the chips are on the table and if D Rose is healthy, the depth at guard will help the Cavs so much. I’m not saying a Cavs championship is likely, I’m saying it’s possible, and at +400 it’s extremely attractive. Gimme +400 on a LeBron team to win it all every time. Maybe the Warriors will run into some injury issues, who knows. Couldn’t bring myself to pick them at -250. Gross. Thanks for reading, let the games begin.

 

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