The NBA Finals are over and the NBA draft is right around the corner. General managers have been working out the top collegiate and international players, and rumors have been swirling about potential destinations about the world’s best prospects. Perhaps no player has been more polarizing than point guard Lonzo Ball and his boisterous father.
In one season at UCLA, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game while shooting efficiently from the floor (55.1%) and from behind the three-point arc (41.2%). Despite an unorthodox shooting motion, Ball’s size, instincts and unselfishness make him one of the more intriguing prospects in recent memory. Throughout the season analysts debated whether Ball could contend with Washington’s Markelle Fultz as an option for the first overall pick, but that debate has been put to bed in recent weeks.
Fultz opened -120 to be the first overall pick at BetOnline with Ball listed as +200. Ball’s odds of being selected with the top pick dropped from +200 to +300 following the conclusion of the college basketball season, and from +300 to +750 following the NBA draft lottery. With the Boston Celtics firmly expected to select Fultz, most analysts assumed Ball would be selected by the Lakers with the second overall pick. That assumption was strengthened with Ball stated he wouldn’t work out for any team except the Lakers.
In the past week, several sources have reported that Ball looked out of shape during his workout with the Lakers, with some speculating that Ball has been surpassed by Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox on LA’s big board. Despite these rumors, oddsmakers still believe Ball is a safe bet for the second overall pick.
On Tuesday morning, both BetOnline and TopBet posted odds on which team will draft Lonzo Ball.
|Los Angeles Lakers||-300||-400|
The Lakers remain significant favorites to select Ball with the second overall pick, but it’s hardly a sure thing. It’s also worth noting that BetOnline is offering odds on the exact outcome of the top three picks, where Ball is projected as the second overall pick.
- 1. Markelle Fultz, 2. Lonzo Ball, 3. Josh Jackson (+120)
- Any other outcome (-150)
Yesterday afternoon TopBet posted odds on the third overall pick, and they also believe that Kansas forward Josh Jackson will be selected with the Philadelphia 76ers pick. It’s peculiar to see that Ball isn’t listed as a standalone option for this prop bet, but he would be included in the field. Considering that the 76ers desperately need to upgrade both of their starting guards, the field seems like a decent value at 8/1.
There’s no doubt that Ball has amazing court vision and creativity, but I have serious concerns about his long-term potential. Ball doesn’t have a great first step and his lack of strength limits his ability to get into the paint off the dribble. Ball was an efficient shooter at the collegiate level, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to get his shot off at the NBA level. I wouldn’t select Ball with the second overall pick, but it still seems like the most likely outcome.
The 2017-18 NBA season doesn’t start until October, but the Summer League will be starting up in the next few weeks. Make sure to bookmark our free NBA odds page for the latest odds, trends, injuries and more.
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