With the lengthy NBA all-star break comes trade rumors, and plenty of them. One of the more far-fetched tidbits that association gossip has generated is that the Raptors are possibly interested in acquiring Chicago small forward and 2017 all-star game starter Jimmy Butler. A trade for Butler would obviously require the Raps to give up a ton of assets but if you think there’s any water to these rumors, online shop Sportsbook is offering a +250 line for Butler to be traded to any team before the deadline.
The Bulls have struggled to a 28-29 record this year and it’s become clear that the team they assembled this past offseason will not be winning an NBA championship. With plenty of aging players on the roster, Chicago is likely in sell mode and the Raps are the perfect trading partners. Toronto is stocked with picks and young players right now and if a trade were to materialize, it would probably involve Norman Powell, Jonas Valanciunas and the Dinos’ remaining 2017 first-round draft pick.
Although it seems unlikely, Masai Ujiri recognizes the limited window he has with his two starting guards in their primes and that adding a piece like Butler would be a move that could bring them closer to par with the Clevelands and Golden States of the world. The Raps’ move for Serge Ibaka didn’t move the NBA futures needle significantly but if Jimmy were to make the trip up north, Toronto would fly up the list.
Third Time's a Charm for the Jays?
As we creep closer and closer to the start of the MLB regular season, we’re seeing more and more odds released. Sportsbook just posted its pennant futures and the online sportsbook has pegged the Toronto Blue Jays with 10/1 odds to make it to their first World Series since 1993.
They’ve come close two years in a row but have come up short, losing in the American League Championship Series 4-2 to the Royals in 2015 and then 4-1 to the Indians in the most recent ALCS. Skeptics are saying this could be a regression year for the Jays but with the best AL pitching rotation from 2016 still mostly intact and with plenty of offense to spare after Edwin Encarnacion’s departure, there should be more than enough left in the tank for the Jays to make a pennant run.
For those feeling a little more confident, Sportsbook is offering the Blue Birds at 20/1 to win the World Series. That number puts them as the ninth favorite to be crowned champion with three other American League teams ahead of them on the list.
Canadians Make the Cut in Home Run Futures
In other baseball betting news, you can now place wagers on who will hit the most home runs in the upcoming MLB season and a couple of Canadians have cracked the hard-hitting list.
Online book 5 Dimes has the line up for bettors and Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman leads the way for Canucks at 80/1, with base-on-balls god Joey Votto slotting in behind him at 100/1.
Freeman put 34 balls over the wall last season – the most of his seven-year career – while Votto slugged home 29. The 10-year vet has not hit more than 29 dingers since he pounded a career-high 37 in 2010 so it’s highly unlikely the 33-year-old, who’s more interested in getting to first, paces the league in 2017.