NBA Finals 2019: Latest Odds for Warriors vs. Raptors Rematch in 2020

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates after the Raptors defeat the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The odds of a NBA Finals rematch between Golden State and Toronto occurring in 2020 were already slim due to the long-term injuries suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the 2019 NBA Finals. 

Golden State's path to its sixth straight final got even tougher Saturday, when ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a trade for Anthony Davis. 

A depleted lineup combined with the assumed resurgence of the Lakers behind Davis and LeBron James makes Golden State's chances of even making the NBA Finals next year slim.

The first major move has not been made in the Eastern Conference yet, so as of now Toronto appears to be in good shape to defend its title, but that depends on the status of Kawhi Leonard. 


2020 NBA Championship Odds

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The Lakers NBA Championship odds are 📈 after trading for Anthony Davis. https://t.co/QgPPEL5yXI


Even before the Lakers secured a deal to acquire Davis, Golden State's championship quest was going to be tough during the 2019-20 campaign.

Instead of boasting multiple superstars on their roster, the Warriors will be led by Stephen Curry and a cast of players hoping to make up for the production of Durant and Thompson. 

Of the two injured stars, Thompson is expected to be back for the long-term future, as his father Mychal Thompson told Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle there is "no question" he will re-sign with the Warriors. 

That leaves Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and a cast of depth options to produce for a long stretch of the regular season against teams like the Lakers, Houston, Portland and others who will be out for blood. 

Ben Margot/Associated Press

Of course, there is always the chance the Warriors make it into the playoffs and benefit from a healthy Thompson, but that is a scenario that seems far-fetched at the moment.

For the first time in six years, the Warriors will be viewed as a significant underdog to even make the NBA Finals, but they can't be fully counted out because of their championship DNA. 

Over in the East, Toronto's championship chances could be reliant on the free-agent status of Leonard, who is expected to hit the open market July 1. 

There is always a chance the Raptors convince Leonard to come back and lay the foundation for a dynasty in the East.

Toronto's pitch to Leonard will include a roster already built to win a championship and a road to the NBA Finals that avoids the Lakers and the other loaded teams in the West. 

Toronto proved it could beat the best teams in the East on its path to the 2019 NBA Finals, and the only massive upgrade that might be made by Milwaukee or Philadelphia is the Sixers gaining Jimmy Butler's commitment for the long term. 

Even if Leonard leaves, the Raptors have plenty of strong pieces in place, including Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and a healthy OG Anunoby.

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

Reaching the 2020 NBA Finals will be a more difficult task without Leonard, but Toronto appears to be in a better position than Golden State in that situation. 

Given all the hurdles in Golden State's path and Toronto possibly playing without Leonard, a rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals seems unlikely to happen. 

If one or both teams fail to qualify for the NBA Finals, it will mark the first time since 2011 and 2012 in which two different matchups take place in back-to-back years in the championship series. 


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