It’s been a two-horse race for much of the season, but the Brooklyn Nets have pulled ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA title oddsboard after signing LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Spurs big man was bought out by San Antonio after the trade deadline passed and was heavily connected to the Miami Heat but ultimately signed with Brooklyn.
The signing moved Brooklyn from +285 to +260 at DraftKings, while the Lakers dropped slightly from +285 to +290.
Aldridge is the latest former All-Star to sign with Brooklyn after a buyout. Earlier this season, Blake Griffin left the Pistons to join the Nets.
Should the Nets feature a lineup of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, it would have a combined 40 All-Star Game appearances.
On paper, the roster is quite impressive. Aldridge at least provides more depth to go with Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, Bruce Brown and Nic Claxton. How it all fits together is for Steve Nash to figure out.
Aldridge is averaging a career-low 4.5 rebounds per game, and his 13.7 points per game are his lowest since his rookie season.
The Nets are second in the Eastern Conference at 31-15, 1.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the top spot. Philadelphia added George Hill at the trade deadline for a boost at point guard.
The Lakers are sliding in the Western Conference as Anthony Davis and LeBron James recover from injuries. Los Angeles is fourth in the Western Conference, five games back of the top spot and 1.5 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets.