The Phoenix Suns sent shockwaves across the NBA and Arizona betting apps last season, acquiring former league MVP Kevin Durant in a star-studded trade package that sent rising yonugters like Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges to the Brooklyn Nets.
While that midseason deal ultimately failed to bring home the instantaneous rewards that team owner Mat Ishbia hoped for, with Phoenix falling to the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs, there’s fresh hope that 2024 could be the year of the Suns across Arizona NBA betting.
For Durant, the 35-year-old Maryland native’s first full season in the Valley is brimming with opportunity, as he looks to build off the promise he showed when healthy a year ago — averaging 26 points per game on 53.7% shooting, while upping his career point total to 26,892 ooints along the way.
Entering the 2023-24 NBA regular season, Durant sits 13th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, 54 points behind former Houston Rockets big man Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946) and 421 points behind No. 11 Elvin Hayes (27,313).
Ahead of the Suns’ regular season opener against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Tuesday, BetArizona.com broke down the odds on where Durant will stand at year’s end in his quest to climb the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Odds of Durant’s Place In Career Points By End Of Upcoming Season
Can Durant Reach Shaq In 2023-24?
Entering the year, Durant sits 1,704 points behind The Big Diesel on the NBA’s scoring list, which would require the Suns’ stalwart to average just under 20.8 points per game for a full 82 games to hit. The downside? Durant hasn’t played in 80 games or more in a single season since the 2013-14 league year, when he started 81 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Safe to say, operators like the BetMGM Arizona app would be stunned if Durant plays 82 regular season games this season.
Since then, he’s averaged 55.5 games per season, which means Durant will have to average 30.7 points per game to hit Shaq’s career point total if he plays in that many contests this year with the Suns. As for Durant himself, our odds board gives him 36.4% odds of eclipsing Moses Malone’s 27,409 points to enter the NBA’s top-10, points-wise, with 53.4% odds of him toppling fellow Marylander Carmelo Anthony (28,289) and 6.2% odds of him reaching Shaq’s career total this season.
For now, what we do know is that oddsmakers from Caesars Sportsbook Arizona list Durant and the Suns as the No. 4 title favorite, at +600, with Phoenix trailing the Boston Celtics (+380), Milwaukee Bucks (+400) and Nuggets (+420) leaguewide.