NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. The 76ers made their own luck. Philadelphia finished with the league’s fourth-worst record, fell to No. 5 in the lottery, swapped picks with the Kings to move up to No. 3 thanks to a two-year-old trade then traded up to No. 1 by enticing the Celtics with a future draft pick (another pick acquired in that heist of Sacramento, a Lakers pick or one of the 76ers’ own).
The Boston Celtics had Jayson Tatum at the top of their draft board in June. But oddsmakers believe another first-year player has the best shot at leading the rookie class this NBA season. Vegas released its latest update on the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year odds Friday, and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball still is the favorite to take home the award at 7-4 odds, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Ball is trailed closely by Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (13-4 odds) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (15-4) odds, while Tatum is tied with No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz for the fourth-best odds at 10-1. Ball, who went second overall to the Lakers ahead
Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks. He’s keeping the checks coming. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports: Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit. I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).