Donte DiVincenzo

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

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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

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-Alexander          40/1
Zhaire Smith                              45/1
Lonnie Walker                           50/1
Robert Williams                         50/1

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NBA draft 2018: Preview, start time, pick order, live stream and how to watch

NBA draft 2018: Preview, start time, pick order, live stream and how to watch

The 2018 NBA draft is finally upon us!

Here’s everything you need to know regarding the Sixers as they officially open up one of the biggest offseasons in franchise history.

Essentials

When: June 21 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center (Brooklyn, New York)
Network: ESPN
Live stream: Watch ESPN
Social media: @NBCSPhilly

Local coverage of the Sixers' draft

At 8:30 p.m ET, be sure to tune into NBC Sports Philadelphia for Draft Central: Sixers. Join Amy Fadool, Marc Zumoff, Marc Jackson in studio breaking down the Sixers draft night. Danny Pommells will be reporting from the Draft floor in Brooklyn, while Jessica Camerato and John Clark will be reporting from the Sixers Complex in Camden. 

Order

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. LA Clippers 
13. LA Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Indiana Pacers
24. Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers 
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks
31. Phoenix Suns
32. Memphis Grizzlies
33. Dallas Mavericks
34. Atlanta Hawks
35. Orlando Magic
36. New York Knicks
37. Sacramento Kings
38. Philadelphia 76ers
39. Los Angeles Lakers
40. Brooklyn Nets
41. Orlando Magic
42. Detroit Pistons
43. Denver Nuggets
44. Washington Wizards
45. Charlotte Hornets
46. Houston Rockets
47. Los Angeles Lakers 
48. Minnesota Timberwolves
49. San Antonio Spurs
50. Indiana Pacers
51. New Orleans Pelicans
52. Utah Jazz
53. Oklahoma City Thunder
54. Dallas Mavericks
55. Charlotte Hornets
56. Philadelphia 76ers
57. Oklahoma City Thunder
58. Denver Nuggets
59. Phoenix Suns
60. Philadelphia 76ers

Profiles

With five total picks in the draft, including two in the first round, who exactly are the Sixers targeting? Well, they could go with the hometown hero with the smooth shooting stroke, the combo forward with tons of upside, the soft-spoken guard that prefers loud dunks or anywhere in between.

Here are some of our draft profiles on the biggest names the Sixers could be plucking off the board in the first round.

Could Sixers still get draft's top talent at No. 10?

How would college basketball's top scorer fit with Sixers?

Will Mikal Bridges make it to Sixers at No. 10?

• Kevin Knox's potential might be too great for Sixers to pass on

3-and-D or an athletic wing? Miles Bridges could be both

Would electrifying prospect Sexton fit with Simmons?

Will DiVincenzo make it to Sixers at pick 26?

Rumors

The draft rolls right into free agency as the peak time for NBA rumors and speculation. The Sixers aren’t immune and have found themselves at the center of some chatter heading into the big night.

Sixers get draft night started early with a trade

Sixers reportedly reluctant to include these 2 in draft trade

An interesting pundit says Sixers seek to trade up in draft

NBA draft profile: Villanova G Donte DiVincenzo

NBA draft profile: Villanova G Donte DiVincenzo

Donte DiVincenzo     

Position: Guard

Height: 6-4

Weight: 200

School: Villanova

The Michael Jordan of Delaware has come a long way from his first season at Villanova. After leading Salesianum High School to two state titles, DiVincenzo came to Jay Wright as a highly-touted prospect. He struggled initially, most notably with his defense. He was redshirted in 2015-16 after playing very little in nine games.

During his redshirt freshman season, DiVincenzo began carving out his role with the Wildcats, averaging 25.5 minutes a contest and becoming a big part of Wright’s rotation. This past season, DiVincenzo became a star. After being named Big East Sixth Man of the Year, DiVincenzo had a phenomenal NCAA Tournament that culminated in him being named Most Outstanding Player of the Championship Game. 

During his breakout season, DiVincenzo averaged 13.4 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 40 percent from three. 

Strengths
DiVincenzo’s biggest and perhaps most underrated strength is his athleticism. He’s quick and he can jump out of the building. The blocks he had in the championship were just a couple of the many blocks where he demonstrated his explosive leaping ability. 

He was instant offense off the bench for Villanova and that should translate to the NBA. He’s a three-level scorer. He’s proven he can shoot the three, shoot off the dribble in the midrange and finish at the rim. Again, his athleticism allows him to finish and he’s strong enough to do so through contact. At times, he ran the point, providing some versatility as a combo guard. He has decent vision and feel.

That redshirt year must’ve made DiVincenzo hungry because you would’ve never known he struggled defensively. He’s a pesky defender with the quickness to guard ones and twos. He’s not afraid to be physical. He’s also a very good rebounder for his size.

Weaknesses
At just under 6-foot-4, he’s a little undersized for an NBA two. He ran the offense at times for Villanova but it’s not necessarily his strength. His points tend to come in bunches and his shooting can be inconsistent. When he doesn’t have it going, he has a tendency to force things instead of letting the game come to him. 

He’s not long and he’s more of a solid team defender than a strong on-the-ball defender.

NBA comparison
There’s a little Tim Hardaway Jr. to DiVincenzo’s game. Both players have great athleticism and both can score on all three levels. They also both score in bunches and struggle with shooting from long range consistently. Neither player is particularly long or a lockdown defender, but both play with great energy and play solid team defense. Like DiVincenzo, Hardaway Jr. also came from a successful college program and played in big games.

How he'd fit with Sixers
DiVincenzo could be an impact player off the Sixers’ bench almost immediately. With his experience in college and microwave scoring, he’d be a welcome addition. DiVincenzo could fit into Marco Belinelli’s role but offer much more athleticism, ball handling ability and defense, though the Sixers would obviously lose experience.

Draft projection
This is interesting. Early in the process, DiVincenzo was projected to go in the late 20s or maybe even in the second round. After tearing up the combine, there’s no way he makes it past No. 30. His draft stock has taken a similar rise to DeAndre’ Bembry’s a couple years back, when the St. Joe’s wing was taken 21st overall by Atlanta. Will he make it to 26? Possibly, and the Sixers should take a long look if he does.

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