It's never too early to check out the futures list for next season to see if any value on the NBA odds board pops up. Who should we be targeting in 2015-16?
Cleveland Cavaliers (11/4 to win 2015/16 title)
LeBron James tried to carry the Cavaliers on his shoulders, essentially single-handedly, to the NBA Championship, but the Warriors proved too much and simply were the better team across the six-game series.
Still, it's scary to think how close Cleveland came to winning it all, even without the services of two of the team's Big Three in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love when it mattered most. Injuries got in the way and then some in the 2014-15 playoffs, and you have to figure the same unlucky fate won't repeat itself next season. We can't wait to see the Cavaliers in their second season together, and it's no surprise to see them as the top overall favorite on the NBA futures odds board.
Golden State Warriors (4/1)
The Warriors were the favorites to win the whole shebang after a ridiculous regular season, and it was only fitting to see the best overall team capture the Finals trophy when it all was all said and done.
Who's to say Golden State won't be able to repeat? After all, this is a franchise that has everything in place to create another dynasty: they've got a great coach in Steve Kerr and a hugely talented group of players, starting of course with MVP winner Stephen Curry. The Warriors don't exactly need to alter their title-winning roster too much, and they've been given a realistic chance of pulling off the difficult repeat in 2015-16.
Oklahoma City Thunder (15/2)
Don't sleep on the Thunder this coming season. It was a disastrous year for Oklahoma City, who lost superstar Kevin Durant for the season early on, with Russell Westbrook also missing some time too. When healthy, there's no more explosive duo in the league, and you have to think they'll be coming out extremely motivated after what was a lost season.
We really like the value here on Oklahoma City, assuming Durant and Westbrook are able to avoid major injuries. This is an extremely talented group too, and they have playoff experience checked off the list to boot. One of our favorite NBA futures picks will come on the Thunder to win it all at right around +750.
San Antonio Spurs (10/1)
We also can't forget about the Spurs, winners of the 2013/14 title. The core may be getting way up in there age, but this is still one of the most dominant teams in the association. San Antonio also is home to the best coach in the NBA in Gregg Popovich, and we've seen him pull off some amazing feats in the past.
Kawhi Leonard is a budding star himself and, with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili still around, the Spurs are going to be competing with the best of them once again this coming season. There are rumors that San Antonio is trying to bring in another big man, such as LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol, and an addition like that would really vault the NBA odds in the Spurs' favor.
Los Angeles Clippers (11/1)
The last team that makes the list is the Clippers, who will be re-tooling for another potential deep playoff run. LA has arguably the best point guard in the game in Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin has quickly become one of the best power forwards in the NBA.
After a heartbreaking finish to their 2014/15 season, the Clippers will be hoping things are different, and they've already made one big move by agreeing with Lance Stephenson. We have a strong feeling LA will be in the mix for the title once again.
Who's your pick to win the championship? And which values stand out most to you?