Deandre Ayton’s Odds To End Up On The Nets Jumped Like Crazy On Monday

A week ago, bettors and NBA newsbreakers were locked in a battle over the No. 1 overall pick, with the consensus of NBA insiders being, up until minutes before the Draft, that Jabari Smith would go first to the Magic, while bettors began hammering Paolo Banchero’s odds.

Banchero briefly became the favorite on Thursday morning before Adrian Wojnarowski insisted Smith-Holmgren-Banchero would be the order, prompting some books to remove odds altogether, while others brought them back with Smith back at -10000. That didn’t stop bettors from continuing to pour money into Banchero’s odds the rest of the day, and ultimately they proved to be right when the Magic drafted the Duke star despite never bringing him in for a workout.

Now, we have another case of massive steam pushing odds on the NBA transaction market, this time with Deandre Ayton’s next team odds. The Phoenix Suns have been favored to retain him, particularly after the Pistons drafted Jalen Duren and reportedly have less interest in making a max offer to the Suns star. However, as a steady stream of reports point to Kyrie Irving leaving Brooklyn and creating a scenario where Kevin Durant could ask out, the Suns have become the favorite for many to land Durant in such a situation — with a package built around an Ayton sign-and-trade plus some combination of Mikal Bridges and/or Cam Johnson and picks.

Bettors seem to be buying in on that, as once again some big Monday steam has pushed the Nets (once at over the weekend 40-1) from 22-1 to +300 in the course of an hour, now good for the second-best odds to land Ayton behind Phoenix (+150) and ahead of Detroit (+350).

Now, it should be noted that odds like this do not typically have an awful lot of money being bet on them, which means it doesn’t take all that much to move a line. However, this is a considerable move and one that is not typical, which certainly raises eyebrows and, when coupled with bettors winning big on the Paolo steam last week, you can’t help but wonder if there’s real smoke to a KD-to-Phoenix scenario — or, less likely but still in play, the Nets trying to sign-and-trade for Ayton if Kyrie simply walks to try and keep KD happy.

It’s all incredibly fascinating and an example of how legal betting markets are creating yet another place where insights can be drawn. If Ayton is on the Nets by the end of this offseason, then folks will start leaning even more on the markets as a crystal ball for player movement.