Future Odds (BetOnline)
Pacific Division (-150)
Western Conference (+225)
Two Two-Way Nightmares
The combination of Leonard and George on the court together is a frightening challenge for the 29 other coaches in the league. George and Leonard are two of the best offensive threats in the league and their defense and ability to guard multiple positions makes them the best wing combination in the league. Throw in Patrick Beverley and the Clippers’ backcourt is probably the best defensive threesome in the NBA.
The Clippers should also rank near the top in the league in offensive efficiency. Leonard and George could both easily average 25 points per game and LA will likely have an undervalued supporting cast.
This is especially true off the bench. After Beverley’s defense in the starting unit, you get 20 points per game from Lou Williams and Landry Shamet, who just shot 42.2% from distance in his rookie season.
The only issue could be their frontcourt depth. Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac will be a solid rotation at center, but the power forward position could give them problems depending on their opponents. Moe Harkless is more of a small forward, although he has the ability to play the four. JaMychal Green may be their best option, but he too will need some time at center.
They could get around this by starting Shamet at shooting guard and playing Leonard as their power forward though, but that might limit their firepower off the bench.
Valuable Championship Odds
Either way they approach the starting lineup, the Clippers will be a huge problem for other teams. They ranked 12th-best in offensive rating last season and now they’ve added two of the top 10 players in the league to their mostly still complete roster. They will be scary and it may warrant a play on them this offseason.
The Lakers have their own problems with age and depth behind their stars and while the rest of the West is deadly, they won’t have enough firepower to knock off the Clippers in a seven game series.
I would not be surprised if LA drops to 2/1 or lower if they open up the season hot, so their odds to win the title right now are pretty attractive. We’re a long way away from the end of April and the playoffs, but the Clippers’ current price to win it all may be halved by then.
The league is wide open and you can’t predict things like injuries and emerging stars, but as we sit here in the offseason, the Clippers have some value in the championship odds.