2022 NBA Futures: Nets And Lakers Open As Favorites

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on July 14, 2021 - Last Updated on July 28, 2021

Though the 2021 NBA Finals have yet to finish, some speculators and bettors can already turn their attention to the 2021-22 season. That’s because odds have hit the boards at a couple of books looking to stoke interest and discussion for 2022 NBA futures.

The name at the top of the board at both DraftKings Sportsbook and Westgate Las Vegas: Brooklyn Nets. That might come as little surprise to most given their incredible collection of talent.

However, that doesn’t mean the entire board was dusty with chalk. In fact, a couple of teams near the top may raise some eyebrows.

2022 NBA Futures Opening Odds

TeamDraftKings PriceWestgate Price
Brooklyn Nets+200+300
LA Lakers+500+400
Golden State Warriors+900+800
Milwaukee Bucks+950+1000
Phoenix Suns+1500+1600
Utah Jazz+1500+1600
Philadelphia 76ers+1600+2000
LA Clippers+1800+2500
Denver Nuggets+2000+3000
Dallas Mavericks+2800+3000
Atlanta Hawks+3500+3000
Miami Heat+3500+3000
Boston Celtics+5000+5000
Portland Trail Blazers+5000+4000
New Orleans Pelicans+8000+6000
Toronto Raptors+8000+5000
Memphis Grizzlies+10000+6000
New York Knicks+10000+5000
Chicago Bulls+10000+10000
Charlotte Hornets+10000+10000
Indiana Pacers+10000+5000
Washington Wizards+15000+10000
Minnesota Timberwolves+25000+30000
San Antonio Spurs+25000+20000
Sacramento Kings+25000+20000
Detroit Pistons+50000+20000
Cleveland Cavaliers+50000+20000
Houston Rockets+50000+50000
Oklahoma City Thunder+50000+50000
Orlando Magic+50000+20000

Warriors, Lakers Considered Strong Contenders In 2022 NBA Futures

Two of 2021’s more disappointing teams rank among the top three or four in terms of 2022 expectations, according to the early markets.

The LA Lakers have been tabbed as the consensus second favorite, opening at +450 on DraftKings and +400 at Westgate. They’ve currently move to a bit longer odds and are available at .

Few teams have more high-end talent than the Lakers, who will bring back LeBron James and a hopefully healthy Anthony Davis. Injuries played a huge role in causing the Lakers to stumble to the ninth seed in the West, as both of their superstars missed considerable portions of the season and never made it back to 100% for the playoffs.

While a return to health could portend another championship run in the mold of their bubble success, this team has major question marks. Obviously, that starts with the health of their stars and the age of James, heading into his age-37 season.

Plus, the supporting cast looked incredibly weak this season despite big spending on Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell. The only rotation players signed for next season besides the two stars are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol and Harrell if he picks up his $9.7M option. Big decisions must be made and flexibility will be limited because of James and Davis’ contracts.

The Golden State Warriors lost to the Lakers in the play-in rounds but the market is nearly as optimistic about them. Westgate opened them +800 while DraftKings hangs a much more attractive price of +1200. While that price disappeared, they’re still available at elsewhere.

Unlike the Lakers, the Warriors can be more certain how their roster will look in 2022. The price reflects two things.

First, there’s the expected return of Klay Thompson. That means a reunion of their original big three that won 73 games in 2016. Of course, coming off two major injuries, it’s anyone’s guess how effective he’ll be.

Second, the market looks to have priced in an expectation that the Warriors will sell off some combination of their two lottery picks and/or James Wiseman for win-now help. Buzz and speculation has centered on players as impactful as Damian Lillard.

Nets The Clear Team To Beat

At +210 on DraftKings and +300 at Westgate, the Nets rate as clear favorites for the 2022 NBA futures. The best price available is .

Considering their dominance at times in 2021, that will surprise few observers. After all, the Nets put together the fourth-best record in the league despite Kyrie IrvingJames Harden, and Kevin Durant rarely sharing the court in the regular season.

They looked even stronger in the playoffs, completely dominating Milwaukee despite an injury to Harden. That is, until Irving went down as well.

For 2022, they’ll bring back most of their key pieces, with Jeff Green and Blake Griffin the notable losses. Those two should hardly be irreplaceable.

At times, the markets favored them over the field in 2021. They looked downright unstoppable with the most efficient offense in NBA history. Health is really the only question mark with this team. They clearly have the strongest roster in the league pending offseason moves.

Hawks, Clippers Expected To Regress

The Bucks and Suns weren’t the only surprise teams going deep in the NBA Playoffs. The teams they beat in the Conference Finals exceeded expectations as well.

The Hawks made a well-documented Cinderella run to within two games of the finals after earning just the No. 5 seed in the East. Bettors could get them as long as 100-to-1 at times before and during the 2021 season.

However, they’re down to , so the market has fairly light expectations of a repeat. That may surprise some people considering they should bring everyone back with John Collins the only potential casualty. It was a weird season with many injuries, though, and the team looked fairly inept in being closed out by a Bucks team missing Giannis Antetokounmpo. They may have just caught lightning in a bottle.

The Clippers overachieved in a different fashion. Expected to be a title contender in the preseason, most wrote them off tied 2-2 with the favored Jazz after losing superstar Kawhi Leonard. In a shocking turn, they not only closed out the Jazz in two straight, but they also gave the favored Suns a highly competitive six-game series in the Western Conference Finals.

Like their fellow LA squad, the Clippers face big questions in both the supporting cast and at the top. Leonard had surgery on his partially torn ACL and he may be limited or completely unavailable for 2022. Also, key contributors and playoff starters Nic Batum and Reggie Jackson have earned raises and may have priced themselves out of Clippers uniforms.

Given the uncertainty around Leonard especially, they’re at in the markets.

Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
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Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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