LeBron James and the Cavs lost the arms race.
After upsetting the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, the Cavs watched Golden State acquire four-time scoring champion and former MVP Kevin Durant last offseason. Last week, the Warriors took care of Cleveland in five to capture their second title in three seasons. Adding Durant to a roster that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green made the Warriors simply too much for the King and all his men to seriously challenge.
So, now, they’re calling for reinforcements. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cleveland players, including James and Irving, have been reaching out to Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, and the three-time All-Star is willing to push Chicago’s management to make the deal happen.
Pregame.com also notes the wise guys in Vegas are heavy on the Warriors, while the betting public is heavy on the Cavs — natural given the payout gap combined with a perception of relative equality between the two teams.
Those who are gutsy enough to bet on a Cleveland sweep will earn a massive payout if the Cavs pull it off. A Cleveland sweep pays 50/1, while a Golden State sweep pays 8/1.
The 2016 NBA Finals went the full seven games. This year’s edition of Cavs vs. Warriors, their third consecutive finals meeting, is not expected to last as long. Pregame.com gives the series a 30 percent chance to go seven games. The 2016 NBA Finals, for what it’s worth, lasted six games.