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Latest 2017-18 NBA title odds have Wizards dropping down the list during free agency

Latest 2017-18 NBA title odds have Wizards dropping down the list during free agency

The 2017 NBA free agency period is not even over and odds makers are losing slight faith in the Washington Wizards. 

After taking the Eastern Conference semi-finals to seven games, the Wizards were hoping to make a move in the NBA hierarchy.

A couple moves in free-agency might have pushed the Wizards over the Celtics and competing against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers for the right to play in the NBA Finals.

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Opening odds from the Westgate Sports Book, following the conference finals, had the Wizards at 30/1 to win the 2017-18 NBA Championship.

This was the fifth highest in the league (third in the East) trailing only the Golden State Warriors, Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Boston Celtics.

After a month and a half, with the NBA Finals now complete and the bulk of free agency moves transpired, Washington dropped slightly. Their odds are now 40/1.

As of this publication, the Wizards roster remains almost entirely intact.

Question marks on the team are Otto Porter Jr., who may get a match deal after an offer from the Brooklyn Nets (insiders say Wizards plan to match), Bogan Bogdanovic, Brandon Jennings (who's replacement may be Tim Frazier), and Trey Burke.

The difference now, the Eastern Conference is entirely reshuffled.

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The Boston Celtics improved by nailing Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz. Paul George is out West, along with Jimmy Butler and Chris Bosh is now officially removed from the Miami Heat. 

Still they are third best in the East, but now in a tie for seventh in the league. And while the Wizards odds have gone down, Boston has now bumped up to 12/1 odds. 

Note: Teams in tweet are ordered by their Opening Odds on 5/28/17, not by their Current Odds

 

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?