At least until the Orlando Magic trade superstar center Dwight Howard, which could happen any day now, this will be the final NBA betting notes column of the 2011-12 season at Bovada.
The Brooklyn Nets have been the most active team this offseason so far, acquiring All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta for a bunch of scrub players on expiring contracts and multiple future first-round picks. On Tuesday, the Nets were able to convince All-Star point guard Deron Williams to re-sign with Brooklyn for the free-agent maximum rather than take a year and about $25 million less to play in his hometown of Dallas with the Mavericks.
The Nets aren't done, however, making a big push to send whatever they have left on the roster other than Johnson and Williams to the Magic for Howard. There's no doubt Howard wants to be in Brooklyn, as he has made it clear that he won't sign a long-term extension with any other team the Magic might trade him to before next season. But the Nets really don't have assets the Magic want, while teams like the Lakers or Rockets might. Brooklyn is trying to find a third team to help any trade.
When the odds to win the 2012-13 NBA Finals were released at the book following Miami's NBA Finals win over Oklahoma City, the Nets were 75/1 long-shots. The book was exposed on Brooklyn at that number, which will certainly drop significantly just by adding Johnson. If the Nets get Howard, they would have a Big 3 to rival the Heat and Brooklyn would be at Chicago's level as the primary odds-on favorites in the East behind Miami. The Orlando Magic's odds, meanwhile, figure to get much, much longer for whatever they are able to get for Howard. You just can't replace a superstar in the NBA.
While NBA futures odds are currently down on the site as the free agent and trade markets sort themselves out, the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year odds are up following last Thursday's draft.
New Orleans, as was expected, took Kentucky big man Anthony Davis No. 1 overall after he was the national player of the year, SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and Final Four Most Outstanding Player in leading the Wildcats to the national title. Davis is considered the only lock franchise player in this year's class and will start from Day 1 for the Hornets. Thus he is the nearly even-money 6/5 favorite to win Rookie of the Year.
Davis appears in good position to win ROY as three of the past four players to go No. 1 overall have won it: Cleveland's Kyrie Irving this past season, the L.A. Clippers' Blake Griffin in 2011 (he was the 2009 top pick but sat out that following season) and Chicago's Derrick Rose in 2009. Tyreke Rose, the 2010 winner for Sacramento, went No. 4 overall. Since New York's Mark Jackson went No. 18 overall in the 1987 draft and won ROY, no player drafted outside the Top 10 has won the award. The lowest in that stretch was Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire, who was drafted No. 9 in 2002.
The book is exposed on early betting on Davis along with Cleveland's Dion Waiters at 20/1 and Portland's Damian Lilliard at 30/1. The Cavs surprised many by taking Waiters at No. 4 overall despite Waiters not even being a starter for Syracuse a year ago. No team has had back-to-back ROY winners since the old Buffalo Braves in 1973-74 (Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio).
Lilliard, the No. 6 pick from Weber State, would be a rare winner from a non-power NCAA basketball school. The last ROY winner from outside the big boys was likely Larry Bird in 1980. That pick turned out pretty well for the Celtics.
Bet on 2012-13 NBA futures at Bovada.