Division Winner Pick: Phoenix Suns +190
Phoenix was such a fun story to follow last season: they went undefeated in the bubble (without even making the playoffs); traded for Chris Paul; watched Devin Booker blossom into a near superstar; made the Finals; lost the Finals.
Now the Suns have a real shot to win this division and also get the top seed in the West. Not only are they bringing back their same core from last season, young guys like Deandre Ayton, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges and Cam Payne will continue to improve. As an organization, the Suns should look to maximize their current situation; they’re a legitimate title contender--and championship windows close fast.
Just as Phoenix benefited from some well-timed injury luck in last year’s postseason, it will find itself in a favorable situation in their division this year. The veteran-heavy Lakers will probably care more about load-managing their stars than pursuing a division title; Kawhi Leonard might not even play for the Clippers this season. Too, Klay Thompson might not be back for Golden State until the new year and the Kings are, well, the Kings. At plus odds and taking all of those factors into account, the Suns offer a ton of value.
“What If Everything Goes Right?” Pick: Golden State Warriors +550