The 2017 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 22 and the Boston Celtics own the #1 overall pick. Many analysts have stated this is one of the deepest and talented drafts in many years and normally it’s a bad thing when there’s no consensus number one overall pick, but this year that’s a positive. There are several potential franchise-caliber players, particularly at the point guard position. Here’s a look at odds on the #1 pick throughout the season from BetOnline
|Player||School||May 30||May 25||May 18||May 13||Feb 7||Jan 30||Jan 24|
|Dennis Smith||NC State||+5000||+4000||+4000||+3300||+1200||+900||+700|
Once the Celtics won the NBA Draft Lottery, the odds of Fultz going #1 overall moved from -300 to -400. Ball is now at +375 while the odds on the rest of the field also increased.
Below was written February 7, 2017:
Last year it was a foregone conclusion that Ben Simmons would be the top pick, with the former LSU forward listed at -450 to be the first overall selection. This season there has been far more debate, although two freshman point guards have received most of the attention: Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.
Fultz is an excellent athlete with three-point range and the versatility to play both guard positions. The biggest knock on Fultz is that, much like Ben Simmons last year, his team struggled throughout the season. Washington had a losing record and didn’t play in a postseason tournament.
Ball is a true point guard with ideal size (6’6″) for the position. He’s an unselfish player with an excellent handle, elite passing ability, fantastic instincts, and tremendous poise for somebody so young. He’s an explosive leaper, but Ball has an unorthodox jump shot which may scare some general managers. Despite that ugly form, Ball has still been the height of efficiency and can do a bit of everything.
Here’s a look at which team has the best odds to get the #1 pick in Tuesday’s Draft Lottery:
|Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)||+290|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+500|
|Philadelphia 76ers (or via Sacramento)||+550|
|New York Knicks||+1600|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+5000|
Below was published on February 7, 2017:
Personally, I think there may be some value on NC State’s Dennis Smith. The freshman point guard is arguably the best athlete in the draft, and he seems slightly undervalued at +1200. Although he’s not an elite shooter and he looks disengaged at times, his talent is undeniable. At times he has proven to be unstoppable, like during NC State’s wins over Virginia Tech (27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals) and Duke (32 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists) and Syracuse (13 points, 11 rebounds, 15 assists). If Smith becomes more assertive offensively, the comparisons to Derrick Rose seem inevitable.
It’s also worth noting that Ball and Fultz squared off on Saturday, with UCLA routing Washington 107-66. Both players were impressive, but Ball (22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) clearly had the better performance. Despite this one-sided matchup, Ball’s odds of being selected with the number one pick have actually dropped from +300 to +325 in the last week.
What do you think? Will Fultz be the first pick of the draft? Are oddsmakers overlooking potential sleepers like Malik Monk or Harry Giles? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.