The NBA season has barely ended and the draft begins. ESPN will broadcast live Thursday at 7 p.m. ET from Brooklyn to welcome in the next generation of potential superstars, journeymen, and outright flops. Let’s take a look at what the night has in store for us.
Likely Top 10 Picks
- Phoenix Suns – Deandre Ayton (C) – The rumor mill is churning out reports that this pick, and Phoenix’s 16th pick, will be dealt to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard. Despite which team chooses at No. 1, the choice is clear: Ayton.
- Sacramento Kings – Luka Doncic (SG) – Many would argue that the Kings would do better with Duke’s Marvin Bagley III at power forward, but Donic is the right pick despite a backlog of guards in Sacramento. The Kings don’t exactly have an embarrassment of riches at any position, and Doncic fits here after being named the youngest-ever MVP of the EuroLeague.
- Atlanta Hawks – Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF) – The Big Ten Freshman of the Year from Michigan State is a rim protector who can transition seamlessly on offense. He would be a potent fit in Atlanta’s frontcourt with John Collins.
- Memphis Grizzlies – Marvin Bagley III (PF) – Keep your fingers crossed, Grizzlies fans, because if Bagley slips to No. 4 then you can start planning those 2019 postseason parties right here and now (assuming good health from Mike Conley/Marc Gasol). Bagley was named a first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year in his only season at the collegiate level. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says the only player he has coached in his 38 years that was better than Bagley as a freshman was Kyrie Irving. High praise from a coaching legend.
- Dallas Mavericks – Mohamed Bamba (C) – Offense generally garners more attention than defense but the 7-foot Bamba with the 7’9” wingspan is a beast on the glass. The right coach will develop his offense, but in the meantime his rim protection will do that talking for years to come.
- Orlando Magic – Trae Young (PG) – Young is the first player in Division I basketball history to lead the nation in points (27.4) and assists per game (8.7). There’s a good chance he will be available this spot, and the Magic will be lucky to get him.
- Chicago Bulls—Michael Porter Jr. (SF) – Porter could be the best player in the draft, but the question marks surrounding the health of the talented freshman out of Missouri have caused alarm. Porter missed most of his first and only collegiate season with spinal disc surgery and back spasms. The Bulls are in desperation mode and should take a chance on a kid that could be a game-changer if he stays injury free.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn) – Wendell Carter Jr. (PF/C) – Carter was the Robin to Marvin Bagley’s Batman at Duke. Both freshmen are one and done, but Carter offers immediate promise on defense and has the fundamentals down cold which sounds trite but is often overlooked in some of the more prolific scorers.
- New York Knicks – Collin Sexton (PG) – Sexton is a frenetic pressure player who streaks across the court and is constantly in motion. The one-and-done freshman from Alabama scored 19.2 points per game and is a perfect fit in New York considering that the Knicks’ current point guard, Frank Ntilikina, is still a question mark.
- Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers) – Mikal Bridges (SF) – The junior from Villanova has more seasoning than the freshmen in the draft and those additional seasons at the collegiate level panned out nicely for the versatile Bridges. The 6’7” small forward shot a career-best5 percent from beyond the arc and would be a boon to a young Philadelphia team that has accrued all the moving parts to be a bona fide contender this coming season.
Draft Position Props
Thursday night will be an opportunity to see if our picks align with the choices, and what could be better than cracking open a cold one and not only watching the draft but betting the draft! The sports betting industry bible, Sportsbook Review, has the latest lines from the world’s best online sportsbooks.
These are the books that actually, ya know, send you the dough when you request a payout unlike your buddy’s online shop, the one he’s recommended to you, but also the one that he’s never asked for a cash-out. Stick with the A+ rated sportsbooks and surf on over to Sportsbook Review to find out which shops get that highly coveted designation from the sports betting industry’s leader.
Some of the NBA draft props you’ll find are below:
1st Overall Pick in the Draft
DeAndre Ayton -1500
Luca Doncic +500
Jaren Jackson +4000
Any Other Player +1200
Four or More +750
Will Gary Trent Jr. be a 1st Round Pick
Will Grayson Allen be a 1st Round Pick
Will Jalen Brunson be a 1st Round Pick