Tonight marks the first step in what could be a historic offseason for the Sixers. The NBA Draft Lottery tonight still involves Phila, even though they made the playoffs this year.
They’ll have at least five picks (26, 38, 39, 56, 60), and will very much likely have a first round via the Lakers if everything goes to plan. And everything should go to plan, if you look at the odds for the #1 overall pick:
The tricky part could be if the pick goes between 2 and 5, which I don’t think will. A bump up one or two more spots would be fun, but we’ll see how the ping pong balls come out.
Here’s who the Sixers could pick, according to Mike Schmitz:
Most likely pick: Mikal Bridges | SF | Villanova
After watching Jayson Tatum carve up Marco Belinelli and a host of other Sixers in the playoffs, it’s clear Philly could use more defensive-minded wings and few prospects are more ready to play a role at small forward than Mikal Bridges. Although he’s a bit one-dimensional as a spot-up shooter, Bridges fits well with ball-dominant players such as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, not needing to pound the ball to have an impact. The wider-bodied Miles Bridges could also get looks here as an energetic two-way combo forward.
Additionally, the Sixers could use another shot-creator should they lose confidence in Markelle Fultz’s development, which remains unlikely at this stage. If it indeed does come to that, though, they could turn to a prospect like Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
That will be Bryan Colangelo‘s decision to make in a month. It’ll be one of the more important decisions he makes this summer, along with finding a replacement for Lloyd Pierce and navigating free agency. If he fails to get a guy like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George, it’s not going to be pretty.
I’m excited for this summer. Big things are ahead of this team. And they need to take some kind of step forward in order to compete with Boston. Because they’ll surely retool as well.
The Phillies resume play tonight as they take on the Baltimore Orioles down in Maryland at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Nick Pivetta will take the mound in the opener of this short two-game series.
After the first six weeks of the season, there have been many surprises and disappointments thus far. The biggest may be the fact that the Phillies are decent and Odubel Herrera is an offensive weapon:
Odubel Herrera is the obvious answer. We knew of his skill set and potential if everything clicked, but who would have guessed he’d be leading the National League in hitting through 40-ish games?
The widespread perception is that Herrera is a streaky player. But in reality, his bat has been hot for nearly a calendar year. Dating back to last June 3, Herrera has hit .338, second in the majors to only Jose Altuve. His .395 OBP and .550 slugging percentage are also top-10 in the NL over that span.
Herrera’s slugging percentage has increased in each of his four big-league seasons. When he homers, they tend to be missiles or towering no-doubters. Sure looks capable of reaching 20-plus home runs after previously topping out at 15.
They’ve also shown that they can overcome adversity in this young season.
Check out the latest edition of Crossed Up while you’re at it.
Running back Jay Ajayi is being sued for trashing a mansion after the Eagles won the Super Bowl, which did happen. Ajayi denies all allegations.
What roles could this year’s crop of rookies have?
Vegas has the Eagles as favorites in 11 games this season.
After a really good rookie minicamp, East Stroudsburg wide receiver Tim Wilson, also a Radnor product, was signed to the 90-man roster.
Draft Kings is all ready to go for this. That’s not a surprise.
There’s also the bad side of gambling that will show itself some more.
In other sports news, Golden State defeated Houston 119-106, despite 41 points from James Harden, to take the first game in the Western Conference Finals.
In the NHL’s Western Conference Final, Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a Game 2 win and tying the series at one game each.
Steelers minority owner David Tepper is expected to become the primary owner of the Carolina Panthers.
DeAngelo Hall has “probably” retired.
The latest racial incident at Haddonfield Memorial High School leaves no winners.
In the news, it’s primary day in Pennsylvania. Go vote.
Actress Margot Kidder of “Superman” fame has died at the age of 69.