The Bucks pulled off a huge move on Monday, bringing in disgruntled guard Eric Bledsoe from the Suns in exchange for Greg Monroe and two first-round picks. It’s the biggest addition to date so far this season, and it could very well tip the balance of power in the East if the Cavaliers continue slumping.
Now that the move is a few hours old, the sportsbooks have started to settle on some updated NBA Odds for the Bucks. Most sportsbooks have them at +1200 of +1400 to win the East, which is still longer odds than the Cavs, Wizards, and Celtics.
The movement came in their odds to win the division. Milwaukee hasn’t started the season that great, but they did jump to around +550 to +650 to win the Central Division.
This is a tough task for the Bucks even with the addition of Bledsoe. Not only do they share a division with the Cavaliers, but the Pacers and Pistons are playoff contenders in the East as well, so it’s a tough call to make on those.
However, if we assume the Cavaliers keep slumping, and the Wizards and Celtics regress some, this move may have been enough for the Bucks to win the Eastern Conference.Addition By Subtraction
Monroe is a solid player, don’t get me wrong, but the addition of Bledsoe is a net positive for this team. It gives them another guard to help out Malcolm Brogdon, or to play behind him in a sixth man role off the bench.
Even though the Bucks gave up two first-round picks for Bledsoe, his offensive game is worth the cost. Plus, and I think some people are forgetting this, the Bucks will get Jabari Parker back from injury around the All Star Break.
Imagine a lineup with Brogdon, Bledsoe, Parker, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo! That is a team better than the Celtics without Gordon Hayward, and it’s better than a Wizards team with little to no bench.
Combined with an eventual improvement on their struggling defense, and the Bucks have what it takes to knock off the Cavaliers in a seven-game series. They are young, long and hungry, and they might be able to bring in another piece before the deadline if they are indeed close.Matching Up
At the very least, I think this should make the Bucks a good bet to make the Eastern Conference Finals this season, As long as they can avoid the Cavaliers and Celtics until that point, I see them beating the Wizards in any seven game series in the playoffs. Beating the Celtics or Cavs would be tough, but doable if Parker comes back and can regain his form by April.
Note that all of this is a long way away. Future odds betting should be done conservatively, because as we saw with the Hayward injury, anything can happen, including getting your legged snapped like you were in a car accident.
However, with Bledsoe coming into an already talented core, I like the Bucks at +1400 to win the East over the Wizards (+1000) or Celtics (+300).