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

More on the Sixers

Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Rookie of the Year odds lengthen for Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz after summer league

Markelle Fultz's summer league experience was cut short because of injury. Ben Simmons didn't play. Still, with 2017's summer league action in the books, the two Sixers No. 1 picks have seen their odds of winning Rookie of the Year lengthen, according to Bovada. 

The Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. jumped Simmons on the list. In June, Smith was given 16/1 odds. After a solid first impression that earned him a spot on the summer league first team, his odds have been shortened to 3/1. In six games in Vegas, Smith averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

As he was last month, Lakers second overall pick Lonzo Ball is still the favorite to win the award at 5/2 odds. As the NBA Summer League's MVP, Ball posted averages of 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. His four games with at least 10 assists were three more than any other player has ever recorded. The Lakers won the league despite Ball sitting out the championship win over the Trail Blazers with a calf strain.

Simmons has the third-best odds now, going from 3/1 to 7/2. The Celtics' Jayson Tatum is one spot behind him at 5/1, swapping his 9/1 odds with Fultz in the fifth-best position. Tatum's numbers impressed in both Utah and Vegas.

Another noteworthy move in the odds involves Atlanta's John Collins. Collins had 20/1 odds after the draft and played well in Vegas — 15.4 points and 9.2 boards per game. He got the first-team nod as well, but dropped a bit, now owning 33/1 odds for a share of the ninth-best likelihood of taking home the award.

Here's the full list of the 12 front-runners for Rookie of the Year:

Lonzo Ball: 5/2
Dennis Smith Jr.: 3/1
Ben Simmons: 7/2
Jayson Tatum: 5/1
Markelle Fultz: 9/1
De'Aaron Fox: 9/1
Josh Jackson: 16/1
Malik Monk: 16/1
Jonathan Isaac: 33/1
Justin Jackson: 33/1
Lauri Markkanen: 33/1
John Collins: 33/1

Dario Saric still Rookie of Year favorite; Vegas shows Malcolm Brogdon little love

Dario Saric still Rookie of Year favorite; Vegas shows Malcolm Brogdon little love

Dario Saric remains the heavy favorite in the Rookie of the Year race, according to Bovada, checking in Monday with 5/12 odds.

Saric was also the favorite in last month's update at 1/2.

Joel Embiid remains second at 11/4, even though he'll finish the season having played just 31 games.

Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon -- who has been hot lately, averaging 13.3 points and 4.6 assists, shooting 51 percent from the field and 90 percent from the line during his last 17 games -- is third in ROY odds at 15/4. 

Some think Brogdon is more deserving because he's helping his team to the playoffs. Milwaukee is 12-5 during that aforementioned stretch from Brogdon and has risen to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference at 40-37.

Saric, though, has stood out nearly every night for the Sixers. Since Feb. 8, Saric has played 26 games and averaged 18.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He's shot 45 percent from the field, 31 percent from three and 81 percent from the line.

If Saric does win, he'll be the Sixers' third-ever Rookie of the Year, joining Allen Iverson (1996) and Michael Carter-Williams (2013).