76ers

NBA Notes: Nick Young to remain out west, join reigning champs Golden State

NBA Notes: Nick Young to remain out west, join reigning champs Golden State

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Veteran guard Nick Young is getting a new start with Golden State, agreeing to a $5.2 million, one-year contract Wednesday with the champion Warriors.

Young's agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the deal in a message to The Associated Press. Warriors general manager Bob Myers also said the team would finalize a contract with Young once the free agency moratorium period concludes Thursday.

In addition, forward Omri Casspi is joining the Warriors on a $2,106,470, one-year contract, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been announced. This will be the 29-year-old Casspi's sixth team as he enters his ninth NBA season, including two separate stints in Northern California with the Sacramento Kings. He played for Sacramento, New Orleans and Minnesota last season, averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 17.9 minutes.

Golden State's familiar-looking roster is taking shape. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry is back on a record $201 million, five-year contract; NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant agreed Monday to a deal for approximately $53 million over the next two years; 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala got a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed; fellow key reserves Shaun Livingston for $24 million and three years, and David West on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum $2.3 million.

The 32-year-old Young last month declined the player option in his contract for next season with the Los Angeles Lakers, which would have paid him more than $5.6 million, and became a free agent. He had said in April that it was "60/40" he would leave the Lakers -- preferring to be part of a playoff team (see full story).

Heat: Waiters agrees on new deal to stay with team
MIAMI -- A person with knowledge of the situation says Dion Waiters is staying in Miami and has agreed on a new four-year, $52 million contract with the Heat.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be finalized before Thursday, under league rules.

Waiters averaged 15.8 points in 46 games last season for the Heat. He was a significant part of how Miami turned its season around after an 11-30 start, going 30-11 in the second half.

The Heat were 27-19 when Waiters played, 14-22 when he did not.

Waiters missed Miami's last 13 games with a badly sprained ankle, and the Heat wound up losing a tiebreaker for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. He played for $2.9 million last season.

Nets: Porter agrees to sign offer sheet, which Wizards can match
NEW YORK -- Following his best NBA season, Otto Porter Jr. has a big offer to join the Brooklyn Nets. It appears he'll be staying right where he is in Washington.

Porter has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Nets, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Wizards plan to match the offer and keep Porter, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because contracts can't be signed until Thursday.

The Vertical first reported that Porter had agreed to sign a four-year, $106 million offer sheet with the Nets. Under NBA rules, the Wizards would then have two days to match the offer since Porter is a restricted free agent.

Porter finished fourth in voting for Most Improved Player last season after averaging 13.4 points and shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range, fourth-best in the league. The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft from Georgetown was one of the keys to a Washington team that reached the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets tried the restricted offer route twice last summer and fell short both times. Portland matched the Nets' offer to Allen Crabbe and Miami did the same with Tyler Johnson (see full story).

Knicks: 1st-round pick Ntilikina signs rookie contract
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have signed first-round draft pick Frank Ntilikina.

The Knicks announced the deal Thursday with the No. 8 overall selection.

The 6-foot-5 French guard is playing for New York's summer league team in Orlando, Florida.

Born in Belgium, the 18-year-old Ntilikina averaged 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 18.5 minutes in 31 games last season for Strasbourg in the French Pro A league.

Interesting new odds on LeBron James' free agency destination, next season's Rookie of the Year

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AP Images

Interesting new odds on LeBron James' free agency destination, next season's Rookie of the Year

Brett Brown is "star hunting." He's not naming names, but it's clear that LeBron James is at the top of his (and everybody's) list.

Until free agency officially starts on July 1, there's going to be plenty of speculation about whether the Sixers can actually land James. Bovada's latest odds on which team James will be playing for in Game 1 of the 2018-19 season don't give the Sixers a great shot.

The Lakers are now strong favorites, at 4/13. That's presumably because Spurs star Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out of San Antonio and would like to return to his hometown of Los Angeles, specifically with the Lakers. Though the Spurs have said they want to keep Leonard if possible and reports are they don't want to trade him to a team in the Western Conference, the Lakers would definitely be a much more enticing option for James if they managed to get Leonard. 

The Sixers have the fourth-best odds, which are listed in full below.

What team will LeBron James play for Game 1 of the 2018-2019 Season?
Los Angeles Lakers                   4/13
Cleveland Cavaliers                   13/4
Houston Rockets                      15/2
Philadelphia 76ers                     10/1
Boston Celtics                          18/1
San Antonio Spurs                    20/1
Los Angeles Clippers                25/1                                           
New York Knicks                       30/1
Miami Heat                                40/1

Very early 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Odds

This season's Rookie of the Year hasn't even been announced yet. We'll know Monday night whether Ben Simmons brings home the award. But the odds for next season's Rookie of the Year are already out, and one of the newest Sixers, first-round pick Zhaire Smith, appears on Bovada's odds.

Unsurprisingly, Smith, who has a lot of room to grow (see story), is a long shot. The No. 16 selection has 45/1 odds to win. No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton has the best odds at 13/5, followed by the Mavs' Luka Doncic and the Kings' Marvin Bagley III. Mikal Bridges has 22/1 odds, while fellow Villanova product and new Milwaukee Buck Donte DiVincenzo makes an appearance at 40/1.

The complete odds are below.

2018-2019 NBA Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win
Deandre Ayton                          13/5
Luka Doncic                              3/1
Marvin Bagley                           9/2
Trae Young                               7/1
Jaren Jackson Jr                       9/1
Mohamed Bamba                      11/1
Kevin Knox                               15/1
Michael Porter Jr                       15/1
Mikal Bridges                            22/1
Collin Sexton                            22/1
Miles Bridges                            28/1
Wendell Carter Jr                       28/1
Donte DiVincenzo                     40/1
Shai Gilgeous-Alexansder          40/1
Zhaire Smith                              45/1
Lonnie Walker                           50/1
Robert Williams                         50/1

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With Bryan Colangelo saga in rearview, Sixers use draft as 1st step in repairing image

With Bryan Colangelo saga in rearview, Sixers use draft as 1st step in repairing image

Even Brett Brown had to admit just how much of a whirlwind this month has been for him.

“This has been a really different June,” he said after the 2018 NBA draft.

That’s certainly an understatement.

In a matter of weeks, Brown went from drawing up plays during the postseason to orchestrating his first draft as interim general manager. And there’s no time to take a breath with free agency barreling down the calendar on July 1.

While Brown has been tasked with running the Sixers’ front office operations for the time being (see story), he has also been put in charge of an even bigger challenge: reshaping the team’s image.

No matter your feelings on the Bryan Colangelo saga, there is no denying it was a black eye for the Sixers. One the franchise could ill afford heading into such an important summer.

So Brown set out to show that the Sixers are truly all about the player-friendly, tight-knit and development culture they have cultivated throughout “the process.” The reinforcement started with grabbing a pair of players in the draft with not only first-round talent, but first-rate character.

“When you look at sort of the values that were most important to us as we decided how to grow this team and select our players, there were none more important than just good people and character,” Brown said Friday of first-rounders Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet. “Personally, when you would see me work the players out and then intermittently we would call people into my office, there was a connection and a comfort level that I had just talking to them as people.”

Of course talent trumps everything and Brown admitted the duo was ultimately snagged because of basketball ability above all else. However, it’s no coincidence that both players are soft-spoken and eager to grind for whatever minutes come their way on the court.

“I just want to come in here, put my work in and let it play out,” Smith said.

“At the end of the day, I just want to be a player that’s known to do whatever a coach needs me to do,” Shamet said. “Whatever the staff or my team needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to be. … Coming in and working hard and doing what I can on a day-to-day basis.”

What’s a little competition between family?

Oh, make no mistake, the Sixers see the program they’ve constructed as a family. And now that the branch of the tree that tends to talk way too much on social media is gone, Brown wants every draft pick that enters the building (and superstar that is willing to listen) to know this organization is a place you want to be.

“We’d like to welcome Zhaire’s family, we’d like to welcome Landry’s family to our home,” Brown said. “As I told these two young players, [they have] the ability to walk into this building and look up behind us and recognize the true history of this organization. To be able to look around and see the backyard that they now have and see sports science, and see a strength and conditioning program, and see an analytics department, and seeing the medical staff, and seeing the video area, and looking at our kitchen, which we kind of designed almost like a college atmosphere where we all go up as a team, as a family, an organization and spend time. This is their backyard where they’re going to get better.”

Now Brown hopes the franchise is stable enough again to add a high-profile name to the family by the time the July 4 BBQ rolls around.

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