Mikal Bridges

The NBA Draft went off-script, and we’ll tune in again tonight…

even if a trade between rivals demands our attention.

Knicks Making Moves

What Happened: The first round of the NBA Draft is over with, and while there were a few surprises (so French!), no one knows how those decisions will pan out. But one big trade has already rocked the offseason, and the betting markets have acted accordingly.

The New York Knicks completed a trade for Mikal Bridges this week, surrendering five (!) first round picks for a player that A.) Went to Villanova (a requisite for the Knicks, it seems) and B.) Has never made an All-Star team.

The price may seem steep, but futures odds illustrate the impact this move can have.

Why It Matters: Immediately following the 2024 NBA Finals, the Knicks opened at +1600 odds to be next season’s champ on FanDuel. Seven teams had better odds. Post-Bridges trade, coupled with OG Anunoby re-signing with the team, New York’s odds have improved to +1000, leaping to sixth-lowest odds of any team.

At BetMGM, the shift was even more drastic; Tom Thibodeau’s squad moved from +1700 all the way down to +900.

Bridges is a well-regarded player, but certainly no superstar. Instead, he’s being deemed a perfect fit for what this Knicks team needed and how they like to play. It’s early in the offseason, of course, but we’ve already seen a major move by an Eastern Conference contender, with plenty more to come these next few weeks.

How We’re Feeling Today

Surprised that the NBA decided to split the two-round draft into two nights, and we’re still interested?

But let’s be real — that has to do with one player, a special circumstance that the league will have trouble replicating in the years to come.

Everyone is eager to see if Bronny James goes to the Lakers, to a different team, or doesn’t hear his name called at all. But remove LeBron’s son, and what do you have in Round 2? International players you’ve never heard of, and a couple of “oh yeah, I recognize that guy” college players who aren’t likely to make an impact at the next level.

Still, at least for this go-round, the NBA splitting the draft is going to attract eyeballs on two nights. Well played, Adam Silver. Impeccable timing.

The Look Ahead

Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler STRIKEOUTS The Phillies ace is coming off an eight strikeout performance against Arizona, and carries a line of seven for tonight against a weak hitting Miami lineup. The thing is, while the Marlins don’t score many runs, they also don’t strike out a ton; in fact, as a team they have the 10th-fewest whiffs of any MLB club. Wheeler faced the Fish back in mid-May and threw four innings, striking out just two. He’ll have more than that tonight, but 7+ seems like a tall order.