NBA Betting: Pacers Go All In for NBA Title by Acquiring Evan Turner
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Feb. 21, 2014
The NBA’s annual trade deadline used to be one of the most exciting days of the basketball season because stars often changed places. However, largely because of the new collective bargaining agreement the deadline the past few seasons has gone by with a whimper. That looked to be the case Thursday until one deal was consummated at the last minute: Indiana acquired Evan Turner (and power forward Lavoy Allen) from Philadelphia for Danny Granger.
Granger wasn’t part of Indiana’s run to the East Finals last year as he was out injured, and Granger has been limited to 29 games this year. He was averaging 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes. Turner was averaging 17.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Sixers.
The Pacers already were slight Eastern Conference favorites (-110) at Bovada, just ahead of Miami (-105), and this should make Indiana better on paper. However, the question is whether it will upset the Pacers’ excellent team chemistry. The Pacers also signed center Andrew Bynum a few weeks ago and he could debut in a week or two. Turner should debut Saturday in Milwaukee.
Three Western Conference contenders made moves, and they were each for depth. The Golden State Warriors (+800 to win the West) acquired guard Steve Blake from the Lakers for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. It’s an upgrade for the Warriors as Bazemore and Brooks rarely played. Golden State’s reserves are last in the league in assists and 29th in scoring and minutes played. Blake was averaging 9.5 points (he’s a solid 3-point shooter) and 7.6 assists in 33.0 minutes per game with LA. He can backup guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
The deal was essentially a salary dump for the Lakers and makes them an even worse bet going forward. They decided to hold on to their biggest trade piece, Pau Gasol.
Houston (+700 to win the West) made a potentially underrated move in sending backup point guard Aaron Brooks to Denver for forward Jordan Hamilton. Brooks was the No. 3 point guard and thus very expendable. Hamilton, a 2011 first-round pick, averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds this season. He figures to play around 15-20 minutes a night and improve Houston’s bench.
The Rockets wanted to deal backup center Omer Asik but couldn’t find a taker for his $15 million salary next season.
San Antonio (+550 to win West) added forward Austin Daye from Toronto for Nando de Colo. Neither guy played much for their former team, but Daye is a former first-round pick who at least brings some size at 6-foot-11 and decent range.
The hottest team in the Eastern Conference right now is Cleveland, which enters Friday on a six-game winning streak (6-0 ATS). The Cavaliers kept Luol Deng and added 76ers center Spencer Hawes, the second-biggest name to move. Hawes averaged 13.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in 53 starts for the 76ers, and the Cavs gave up nothing of major value to get him. Hawes is nice insurance for Cavs big man Anderson Varejao, who has been bothered by back trouble.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, had the worst ATS record in the NBA at 21-34 entering Thursday and now has traded two of its best players in Turner and Hawes for little in return. Philadelphia is happy to lose out and get a better draft pick and sharp bettors are likely to wager heavy against the Sixers the rest of the way. They also might buy out Granger instead of keep him.