LAS VEGAS -- Apologies for the lack of on-site draft coverage the past couple days. Your humble reporter is out west on a trip that was planned before I took the reins of the Celtics coverage this past season. I'm doing my best to chip in from afar during the downtime and I'm fortunate to have some hoops junkies traveling with me, so we spent out first night of this adventure watching and analyzing the draft like most of you.
And since we're in Las Vegas, we couldn't help but take a glance at the early odds for next year's NBA champion. Immediately after the Finals, the Celtics were -- and remain -- at 12-1 odds, that's tied for sixth-best odds (with the Nuggets and Bulls). The teams in front of Boston: the Lakers (3-1), Magic (5-1), Thunder (8-1), Cavaliers (8-1), and Suns (10-1).
The odds, which were set immediately after the NBA Finals, saw the Bulls as the only team whose odds improved before the draft occurred (even before they cleared that extra cap room). It will be interesting to see how those odds shift again with the draft complete. Now, the necessary disclaimer that we're not condoning gambling, simply making an observation in a city where it's impossible to avoid.
Beginning Monday, we'll start our series of daily report cards for each member of the Celtics team for the 2009-10 season. Free agency kicks off next week as well and we'll have our eyes on that. The following week, we're headed down to Celtics' summer league in Orlando to catch a few games and get a glimpse at the players that may comprise the end of the Boston bench next season.