Healthy Clippers No Longer Have Hollow Title Expectations

Return of Kawhi Leonard makes championship odds more than reasonable

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The NBA offseason, as usual, was loud. From trade requests to questions about certain stars' futures,, we got what was expected this summer.

With NBA Training Camp closing in though, the noise continues to surround teams like the Lakers and the Nets, while more realistic title contenders have been quietly rolling along with nothing but basketball on their minds.

That narrative certainly rings true for the Clippers, who at +700 sit tied for the fourth-best odds to win the NBA title on BetMGM, with a squad that comes in at full strength for the 2022-23 season.

Those odds aren't unreasonable either -- this team is loaded.

I get it, we've been down this road for years with this organization. Finally breaking through to the Western Conference Finals two years ago was a major step, but dating back to the Chris Paul era, this team has constantly underachieved, so it's fair to have your doubts.

Keep in mind though, this team won 42 games last year with Kawhi Leonard missing the entire season (+2500 to win MVP), and Paul George (+5000) only playing in 31 games. Add both of those All-Stars to a roster that might be the deepest in the league, while also adding John Wall to the mix, and title expectations absolutely should be sky-high for this organization.

Wall has shown he's got enough left in the tank to be a third option for a team after he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists in 40 games in 2020-21 before sitting out all of last season. That's not only an upgrade, but a nice fit for his next chapter, and coupled with the rest of their depth that helped get this team to the play-in tournament, you have to feel at least lukewarm about something different this time around.

While their roommates at Crypto.com Arena (still can't get used to that name) in the Lakers continue to lack an identity to any sort of direction, the Clippers are quietly sitting and waiting for a chance to fully take over Los Angeles, and this is the best position they've been in to do so.

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