One of the things that is fun about the NBA Draft is that you can bet on it. That goes without saying. But you also have all of these mock drafts published, how a mock draft changes from one day to the next is, one supposes, a product of what people see in other mock drafts, along with what they read on sites that customarily publish rumors.
I'm not sure there is any other way to go about it.
At BetAnySports, Anthony Edwards, who played one year at Georgia, is priced at -299 to be the first pick (this is fluid - it's changing). But picked by who?
There was a report at The Athletic (a subscription sports writing site) that the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the first pick, are actively and aggressively trying to trade it. And maybe that makes some sense. While "sources" have talked about this being a "three-man draft" (and there may be some legitimacy to that claim), I'm not sure any of the three helps Minnesota become a playoff contender right away. Edwards is a nice player, and he'll score a lot, I'm sure, but a lot of guys can score. Is he prepared to do something else, early in his career?
James Wiseman didn't get to play much at the University of Memphis; in fact, he had eligibility issues right from the start and only got to play in three games. But he showed something in those games, as opponents shot just 33% when he was on the floor. And of course, he was a heralded high school recruit. My feeling is that if he had been able to play a full season, he would have been the #1 pick.
Right now he carries a +663 price at BetAnySports to be on top, and i would not disqualify that if the Wolves - who are said to be looking for an awful lot in return - make s deal, the recipient would take Wiseman. Clearly a lot of people don't expect him to get past Golden State at #2, as evidenced by his -348 price to go second in the draft.
There is a pretty good price on LaMelo Ball (+287) to go #4 in the draft, and that presumes if he slips through the top three, the Israeli player Deni Avdija will be the third selection. Or maybe Obi Toppin of Dayton, who was the national college player of the year. I might grab a price like that, for a few reasons.
One is that although he is a flashy talent, the extent of his experience beyond high school is in "outlier" leagues, including one his father invented. So he's an unknown commodity to some degree.
Another problem IS the father. Simply put, he can be a pain in the ass, and does a team really need to deal with that as a side attraction?
Also, the kid is not an NBA-level shooter, or close to it. He's got that unusual motion that his brother Lonzo has, and he's going to get some shots blocked that way. And if he can't prove he can hit from the outside, opponents will play off him and largely prevent him from attacking the hoop. He isn't a big defender either.
There's another thing that you may find strange. Remember, first of all, that business is business. And Michael Jordan, whose Charlotte Hornets own the third pick, has his own lucrative sneaker sub-brand (an "imprint," if you will) with the Nike people. In case you didn't know, LaMelo has his own signature sneaker with a brand his father established called Big Baller. And Dad will likely use his son's participation as a platform to promote that brand. Does Michael Jordan really want to help facilitate something like that? Just a thought. I have a feeling the Hornets, rather then have a three-ring circus on hand, might explore what kind of deal they can make to get multiple players. They need a lot of personnel.
So +287 may be one way to go.
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