<!– react-empty: 124 –><!– react-empty: 127 –><!– react-empty: 128 –>Jack Arent/Getty ImagesFree agency & the NBA Draft have yet to play out this summer, yet the core of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors is expected to remain intact heading into next season.That said, the Warriors will be going for their third NBA championship in four years as solid -150 betting favorites (wager $150 to win $100) over the rest of their competition.However, one could easily argue that the main reason Golden State is such a huge favorite is due to the lack of competition. Sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark have the Cleveland Cavaliers at +300 (bet $100 to win $300) to bring home their second title in three seasons as the overwhelming second choice, with the Boston Celtics a distant third at +1200 along with the San Antonio Spurs.Cleveland star LeBron James has a player option in his contract to opt out of his current deal in 2018, so the team will have him at least one more year before he potentially decides to leave his hometown again.<!– react-empty: 143 –><!– react-empty: 144 –>[embedded content]Rumors have been swirling that Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George will leave then as well, so he could be traded to the Cavaliers or the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly his preferred destination when he becomes a free agent. The Pacers are +10,000 long shots to win the NBA title & have little chance to do so next year with or without George on board.A Cleveland team with George, though, could rival the Warriors, likely setting up a fourth consecutive NBA Finals matchup between them.Meanwhile, the Celtics continue to pile up draft picks after agreeing to send the No. 1 overall selection to the Philadelphia 76ers this year. Boston earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference last year & figures to be a force in the years to come, too.But the Celtics would find it very difficult to obtain past the Cavs in the East next season, even if they add an impact free agent like Gordon Hayward, who has spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz.The Spurs & Houston Rockets (+2000) are still Golden State’s main competition in the West, yet both of them have serious matchup problems.
Read more on this topic…2018 NBA Championship Odds: Golden State Warriors Favorite to Win Third Title