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Around the NBA: Sam Dekker traded to Cavs, NBA Africa Game, Vegas releases win totals

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NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Dekker traded to Cleveland Cavaliers

In the summer of 2017, former 18th overall pick Sam Dekker landed in L.A. as a Clipper after being thrown into the trade that brought Chris Paul to Houston. This summer, Dekker is changing teams via trade again as the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired Dekker’s services. First reported by Woj, it is not yet clear what Cleveland sent west to the Clippers, but it likely wasn’t much. (I’m thinking along the lines of cash considerations, and while cash considerations is averaging just 0.0 ppg for his career, Dekker isn’t much better at 4.4 ppg over the first 3 seasons of his career.)

While Sam Dekker stans might argue that Dekker hasn’t had enough opportunities in the NBA, the fact is that Dekker just hasn’t offered the same offensive usefulness we saw from him at Wisconsin. Dekker was never any sort of dead-eye shooter from deep while in college, but he was at least capable of hitting threes at near-but-below average rate (34.7% from 3PT for his NCAA career, 3 seasons). At the NBA level, Dekker has shot an abysmal 28.3% from distance on (just) 247 3PA. And he’s done next to nothing for his teammates, averaging 1.8 assists/36 minutes to 1.2 turnovers/36 minutes over the last two seasons.

Dekker certainly had more success his 2nd year in Houston than he did last season as a Clipper. Coach Mike D’Antoni (HOU) allotted Dekker 18.4 minutes per game in ‘16-’17 versus the 12.1 minutes per game Doc Rivers offered Dekker in L.A. last season. Maybe there’s a correlation between the previous two sentences, and that’s what Cleveland could be banking on. At the end of the day, this is a pretty low risk, low impact move for both teams. Maybe Dekker breaks out, but I’m not expecting that and I don’t think I’m alone there.

2018 NBA Africa Game

Over the weekend, the 2018 NBA Africa Game festivities took place. Headlining the event was the Sixers’ very own Joel Embiid.

The game itself wasn’t exactly captivating, to say the least. But JoJo was worth watching, scoring 24 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Our Sean Kennedy wrote up a recap of the action here.

Vegas releases 2018 NBA win total over/unders

Last Vegas sports book Westgate opened up their season win totals for every NBA team for the 2018-2019 season. Where does the Sixers’ number come in? 54.5 is the over/under number of wins for Philly. The rest of the league:

The Sixers’ number of 54.5 is tied with the Toronto Raptors for 2nd highest of Eastern Conference teams, coming in behind the Boston Celtics’ number of 57.5. For any bettor taking the over on the Sixers’ win total, the team would have to be three games better than last season. Is that possible? Well, the starting lineup is back in its entirety. The depth is pretty similar. So the Sixers, as currently constructed, would appear to be on track to finish similarly as they did last season. If you’re taking the over, you’re likely banking on a few things: a weaker Eastern Conference, Markelle Fultz returning as the player you thought the Sixers got in the 2017 NBA Draft, natural improvement from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid, and maybe instant impact from a guy like Zhaire Smith or Landry Shamet.

I could go either way on that number. I wouldn’t put a wager down just yet. Jacob Goldstein’s model has the Sixers juuussssst outperforming the Vegas over/under: