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The Young Stars of the adidas Eurocamp

Basketball Insiders Nate Duncan scouts the best young talent and potential future NBA prospects at adidas Eurocamp 2014.

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The 2014 adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy was notable for the massive amount of young talent present.  The shoe company was able to bring over the best talent from the inaugural season of its Gauntlet all-star circuit, including a number of top-20 prospects in the 2015 and 2016 high school classes.   The Eurocamp also featured intriguing young talent born in 1998 and 1999 in the Next Generation group of players who practiced separately. Today we will examine the best of these younger players, saving this year’s potential NBA draftees for a few days hence.


Thon Maker

Class of 2016 seven-footer Thon Maker has been compared to both Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett due to his thin frame and shooting ability, but aside from borrowing KD’s rip through move neither of those comparisons particularly holds water. Maker is much less athletic than either comparison, and as a result is not much of a rebounder or shotblocker at this stage despite standing 7’0 with a 7’2 wingspan.

Maker’s strengths start with his jump shot. He has a pure and easy release, and already possesses the smoothness and footwork to shoot off the pick and pop with range. Maker did not quite appear comfortable shooting from NBA three-point range in Treviso, but was money out to the college line and should have no problems extending his range in time. He was also effective scoring in isolation, although he struggled to create separation. He was not able to get by his man to the rim, and often would pick up his dribble in midrange after an unsuccessful attempt to back down–and then hit a nearly impossible shot anyway. Maker drained a number of attempts where he was chested off balance by the defender, and also unveiled a Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fadeaway. It got to the point where it was surprising if he missed a jumper, no matter how difficult the attempt.

The Sudanese native also showed some nice passing ability out of the post, finding shooters on the weakside a couple of times. That was noteworthy on a U.S. team that had a mere eight assists in a 119-85 loss to the Eurocamp All-Stars. Another strength was his lateral quickness. He had absolutely no problems staying with guards either hedging or straight switching the pick and roll, and his defensive intensity was solid for someone of his experience level. In fact, he appeared to be a leader on the US team, as he was the most active calling out the plays and directing his teammates.

Maker’s biggest problem, and by extension that of this U.S. team, was his inability to block shots or rebound. That was not due to lack of effort, as he made consistent efforts to challenge shots, fight in the post and hit the glass. He just came up short due to his physical limitations, as he would have rebounds ripped out of his hands, barely miss shot blocks and get backed down by players weighing up to 50 pounds more than him. Consequently, the US team gave up 54 percent offensive rebounding and a 138 offensive rating to the Eurocamp All-Stars and got similarly bludgeoned by the French U-20 team and Canadian National Champions Carleton University.* In the game against the Eurocamp All-Stars, Maker had one defensive rebound and zero blocks in 31 minutes.

*Due to the five years of college eligibility in Canada, this team featured many mature 21-24 year olds. Although they didn’t really play anyone over 6’7, their experience, three-point shooting and solid defensive system under coach Dave Smart was extremely effective. They dropped 14-36 threes on the US team that was not remotely used to guarding the NBA three-point line.

Maker also showed little ability to get to the basket, and was not the greatest finisher on the rare occasions US guards were able to get him the ball there. He has average explosiveness and wasn’t really able to turn it over and dunk despite a few attempts.

His ability to put on weight and improve his floor game is the biggest variable in whether he can fulfill the top-ten or even top-five aspirations many have for him. He will never have the heft to be a center, but he needs to be playable at the four to really take advantage of his amazing jump shot for his size. If he can hold up in those areas, he should be a major weapon out of the pick-and-pop, although he may never have the quickness or strength to be a superior isolation or post up scorer even if he can hold up well enough on D. That is why his ceiling seems more top-ten pick than top-five, and why his ranking as the number one recruit in the 2016 class is optimistic. It should also be noted that his February 1997* birthday would normally place him in the class of 2015, and there is talk he may in fact reclassify. But the comparatively early birth date must be included in computing his ceiling.

*Some scouts have expressed skepticism over his birth date due to his Sudanese origin, but the fact he moved to Australia at age five (presumably before anyone would have realized an incentive to lie about his age) somewhat assuages those concerns.  EDIT: One NBA front officer made a good point to me, namely that Maker conveniently started kindergarten at the requisite “age five” in Australia upon emigrating. Coming from war-torn Sudan, it is quite possible that neither he nor his parents know his precise age and he was started in school at the age that made the most sense.

Dragan Bender

We first saw Bender as a 16 year-old on the adidas Next Generation team of younger prospects last year. He recently signed a seven-year contract with Maccabi Tel-Aviv (NBA out unknown). As the youngest participant in the main camp this year, Bender largely played the four and struggled. He was willing to take outside shots but largely did not hit them, with some pretty bad misses. The Croatian appeared to be a bit of a thumber, i.e. he uses his thumb on his left hand while shooting. This leads to inconsistency, and he had a number of misses left or right.

Bender has grown some since last year, standing 6’11 with a 9’3 standing reach and 7’1 wingspan. He remains a rail thin 202 pounds, and struggled to bang inside. He did show small flashes on the offensive glass and some passing ability, but overall did not appear to have much chance of scoring aside from what was created by others. And he of course had trouble finishing inside due to his frame, as he was often bumped off course on the way to the rim.

Bender appeared to be pressing, especially with his jump shot.* At this stage he is more effective using his length to affect shots and filling in the gaps offensively while letting the game come to him. It must be emphasized that he is by no means a stiff at his height, with solid mobility and the ability to get into a stance defensively while seeing if not necessarily successfully executing advanced passes at times. He possesses the ability to grab and go at the lower levels as well, though we saw little of that from him here.

Bender should develop nicely in Maccabi’s system, especially if they can put a little weight on him. Dominant scoring does not appear to be in his future, but if he can become a threat from downtown and his floor game fills out he could be an NBA prospect as a stretch four.

*Granted, he was shooting like he expected to make them, so perhaps he usually does more often.

Dennis Smith

Smith had a lethargic first two days of the camp, leading me to tweet that the 6’2 point guard was less athletic than advertised. The North Carolina 910 area code native (as he trumpets on his Twitter) also struggled to get much going from a playmaking perspective, and unsurprisingly got torched in the pick-and-roll by point guards three and four years his senior. His attitude and body language were not the best either, and as one of the younger players he was unable to provide the typical leadership from the point.

But Smith had a much better showing offensively against Carleton University on Monday, getting to the rim against the packed in defense while showing nice change of direction on his jump stop and solid extension when finishing off two feet. His one foot jump is less impressive though. Overall he has above-average but not blinding quickness and ballhandling moves. He has solid form on his jump shot even out to the NBA three-point line, although he struggled overall on jumpers because he had to take some bad ones with the unfamiliar 24 second shot clock running down.

It should be noted that Smith is only a rising high school junior, with a class-appropriate November 1997 birthday. He may grow another inch or two, which would be a real game-changer for him as a prospect. But even at his current size he certainly has eventual first-round potential.

Brandon Ingram

The excitement about Ingram comes much more from his potential than what he was able to do on the court in Treviso. At a listed 6’8, 180, he simply did not have the strength to get anything done playing against men. His frame makes Dragan Bender look like an Adonis. Skill-wise, Ingram was able to hit some tough jumpers, and showed great extension on a few finishes when he was able to catch the ball inside. But Ingram was a total nonfactor on the glass, in the passing lanes and blocking shots, all of which were disappointing given his length. He can’t really get up off two feet. His lateral quickness and explosiveness off the dribble were below average in this setting as well, but his length and smooth shot provide some projectability. To mature into an NBA prospect he will need to hit the squat rack and consume 1,000 protein shakes over the next year.*

*I am not saying that to be flip; three 50 gram protein shakes per day is about what a kid like Ingram needs.

Kobi Jordan-Simmons

Others were wowed by Jordan-Simmons’ potential, but the July 1997-born point guard was less impressive to me based on his performance here. The case for Jordan-Simmons begins with his listed 6’5 height/wingspan and what appeared to be solid shooting ability on just a few attempts. But he struggled to bring the ball up against pressure by his intense but relatively slow (by NBA standards) opponents. He really was not able to get by anyone into the lane, and did not show particularly impressive hops either. His very thin frame is likely to max out at a Jamal Crawford level at best, but he doesn’t appear to have that kind of handle or athleticism. Maybe I caught him on a bad few days, but it was difficult to see what the fuss was about.


Top ranked High schooler Jaylen Brown talks about playing in front of NBA GMs, traveling to Italy and whats next for his blossoming career.

Jaylen Brown

Atlanta native Jaylen Brown leaped off the court as by far the best prospect at the Eurocamp. Brown has Stanley Johnson’s haircut and a similarly strong body, but he is a much better prospect due to his superior ball skills and explosion. Brown looked like a sure top-ten pick and possible contender for the top-five in 2016, revealing no worrisome weaknesses in his two games in Treviso. The story starts with his excellent physical profile, standing a legitimate 6’7 in shoes and 6’10 wingspan. At 207 pounds, he was stronger than the European competitors a year or two his senior.* More impressive is his fantastic leaping off either one or two feet. The latter was particularly noteworthy as he blocked four shots in his first game against the French Under-20 team.

*One small ding for Brown’s potential is his relatively early October 1996 birthday for his class.

Brown possesses a nice shooting-guard level handle and is a freight train attacking the basket in transition. He also had enough shake to get to the basket off the dribble in the halfcourt in this setting, and his finishing was a revelation. Brown was able to create separation at the rim, bouncing off opposing big men and finishing with either hand and often getting foul calls from even the notoriously stingy Eurocamp referees. He shot 19 free throws in two games (he missed the third game as he had to return to the US for the U-18 FIBA Americas tryouts) and got fouled 13 times.*

*International box scores are far superior to even NBA box scores, including data such as how many times a player was fouled and how many times he had his shot blocked. There is no reason NCAA box scores should be so much worse, as they do not even include simple plus-minus.

The US annually produces a few players of this ilk, but what really set Brown apart was his shooting ability. The Eurocamp uses the NBA 3 point line, and he went 2-3 from that range over the two games while hitting another few FIBA threes both on spot ups or off the dribble. It was a small sample size, but his range appeared very solid for a 17 year-old. His step back game is excellent, facilitated by using his strong body to create separation and his strong legs to power up after stepping back.

Brown’s individual defense waxed and waned as for many kids his age, but he showed the ability to lock down at times. As the U.S. was getting torched by Vasa Micic and the Eurocamp All-Stars and the game started getting out of hand, he took on the challenge of guarding the Serbian point guard and got right into him, forcing a turnover and showing great feet and intensity on a few other possessions.

Lauding Browns’ shooting, defense, and off-the-dribble game leaves few facets of the game to constitute his weaknesses. He did not throw a single memorable pass in the two games, although the spacing and cohesiveness wasn’t up to the level of the rest of the camp to facilitate that. And the U.S. team got massacred on the offensive glass by the Eurocamp All-Stars, for which Brown must share some blame despite being by far the leading rebounder for the US.

This was only two games, but Brown looked like a superior wing prospect to anyone in the high school class of 2014. The main caveat is that extremely athletic American wings can look a lot better in an international setting than against their athletic peers, with a prime example the performances of Aaron Gordon and Justise Winslow at the 2013 U-19 World Championships in Prague.* I will be looking forward to seeing whether Brown can sustain this effort assuming he attends adidas Nations later this summer.

*It should be noted that Saturday’s opponent, the French U-20 team, had plenty of athletes.

Isaiah Hartenstein

The son of former Oregon Duck Flo Hartenstein, the 6’9, 207 pound 1998-born Hartenstein is the rare young European prospect with solid explosion off two feet.  He dominated physically against his age-group peers as part of adidas’ Next Generation group of younger prospects.  The lefty showed range out of the FIBA three-point line and the ability to put the ball on the floor to his left and get to the basket.  He dominated on the offensive glass, even dunking after coming down with rebounds.  Hartenstein makes quick decisions and even threw a few nice passes off his drives.  The only disappointment was his lack of shot-blocking.  He will certainly be a player to watch in the coming years.

Nate Duncan is an NBA analyst and attorney. He writes regular features for Basketball Insiders and chats weekly at 11 Eastern on Tuesdays.

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NBA Draft Results 2021: Complete List of First & Second Round Picks

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The 2021 NBA Draft unfolded live at the Barclays Center earlier tonight and it did not disappoint!

60 college standouts were selected in total; each will be gunning for a big rookie year once the new season gets underway on October 19.

(Image courtesy of Associated Press)

The Detroit Pistons did exactly what their fanbase asked for when they opted to draft Oklahoma States’s Cade Cunningham, with the first overall pick.

It may not have been much of a surprise to see the Pistons exit the Barclays Center, NY, with the freshman All-American (and -10000 betting favorite) in the bag, but that won’t dampen the excitement in Detroit! Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game for Oklahoma, so expectations are high for the young point guard, who will now be tasked with bringing the glory days back to a Motor City that hasn’t tasted championship gold since 2004.

The Houston Rockets took shooting guard Jalen Green from G League Ignite with the No.2 overall pick, before the Cleveland Cavaliers vouched for Evan Mobley, a forward out of USC, at No.3.

A complete list of picks from rounds 1 & 2 is featured below. A more detailed draft analysis and grades will follow shortly.

Round 1

 
Pick Team Player College
1. Detroit Pistons Cade Cunningham Oklahoma State
2. Houston Rockets Jalen Green G League Ignite
3. Cleveland Cavaliers Evan Mobley USC
4. Toronto Raptors Scottie Barnes Florida State
5. Orlando Magic Jalen Suggs Gonzaga
6. Oklahoma City Thunder Josh Giddey Adelaide 36ers, NBL
7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota) Jonathan Kuminga G League Ignite
8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago) Franz Wagner Michigan
9. Sacramento Kings Davion Mitchel Baylor
10. Memphis Grizzlies (from New Orleans) Ziaire Williams Stanford
11. Charlotte Hornets James Bouknight UConn
12. San Antonio Spurs Josh Primo Alabama
13. Indiana Pacers Chris Duarte Oregon
14. Golden State Warriors Moses Moody Arkansas
15. Washington Wizards Corey Kispert Gonzaga
16. Houston Rockets (from OKC) Alperen Sengün Beşiktaş, Turkey
17. New Orleans Pelicans (from Memphis) Trey Murphy Virginia
18. Oklahoma City Thunder Tre Mann Florida
19. Charlotte Hornets (from New York) Kai Jones Texas
20. Atlanta Hawks Jalen Johnson Duke
21. LA Clippers (from New York) Keon Johnson Tennesee
22. Indiana Pacers (from Lakers, Wizards) Isaiah Jackson Kentucky
23. Houston Rockets Usman Garuba Real Madrid, Spain
24. Houston Rockets Josh Christopher Arizona State
25. New York Knicks (from Clippers) Quentin Grimes Houston
26. Denver Nuggets Nah’Shon Lee Hyland VCU
27. Brooklyn Nets Cam Thomas LSU
28. Philadelphia 76ers Jaden Springer Tennessee
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix) Day’Ron Sharpe North Carolina
30. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah) Santi Aldama Loyola (Maryland)

Round 2

 
Pick Team Player College
31. Washington Wizards (from Bucks, Pacers) Isaiah Todd G League Ignite
32. New York Knicks Jeremiah Robinson Earl Villanova
33. LA Clippers (from Orlando) Jason Preston Ohio
34. Oklahoma City Thunder Rokas Jokubaitis FC Barcelona/ Lithuania
35. New Orleans Pelicans Herbert Jones Alabama
36. Oklahoma City Thunder Miles McBride West Virginia
37. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit) JT Thor Auburn
38. Chicago Bulls Ayo Dosunmu Illinois
39. Sacramento Kings Neemias Queta Utah State
40. Memphis Grizzlies (from New Orleans) Jared Butler Baylor
41. San Antonio Spurs Joe Weskamp Iowa
42. Detroit Pistons Isaiah Livers Michigan
43. New Orleans Pelicans Greg Brown III Texas
44. Brooklyn Nets Kessler Edwards Pepperdine
45. Boston Celtics Juhann Begarin Paris basketball
46. Toronto Raptors Dalanao Banton Nebraska
47. Toronto Raptors David Johnson Louisville
48. Atlanta Hawks Sharife Cooper Auburn
49. Brooklyn Nets Marcus Zegarowski Creighton
50. Philadelphia 76ers Filip Petrusev MegaBasket, Serbia
51. Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Boston Jr. Kentucky
52. Detroit Pistons Luka Garza Iowa
53. Philadelphia 76ers Charles Bassey Western Kentucky
54. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana) Sandro Mamukelashvili Seton Hall
55. Oklahoma City Thunder Aaron Wiggins Maryland
56. Charlotte Hornets Balsa Koprivica Florida State
57. Detroit Pistons (from Charlotte) Scottie Lewis Florida
58. New York Knicks Balsa Koprivica Texas
59. Brooklyn Nets Raiquan Gray Florida State
60. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana) Georgios Kalaitzakis Panathinaikos, Greece

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NBA Trade Rumors: Jazz considering trade offers for Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft

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Per one interesting announcement from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Utah Jazz are open to trading forward Bojan Bogdanovic, forward-guard Joe Ingles, small forward Royce O’Neale, and the No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. Fischer stated, “The Utah Jazz are known to be one of the few teams actually searching to move playoff-tested talent. Retaining Mike Conley is an offseason priority, sources said, and the Jazz have held numerous discussions with teams around the league about offloading salary to create for Conley in free agency.” Point guard Mike Conley is set to become a free agent this offseason. Though, general manager Justin Zanik will aim to re-sign the 33-year-old guard in the coming weeks. Conley earned $34.5 million in the 2020-21 season.

“League personnel most often mention Joe Ingles as the Jazz wing to watch, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale are also considered available for trade as Utah narrows its focus towards building a contender around Donovan Mitchel. The Jazz are also open to discuss trading their No. 30 pick, sources said.” In the 2020-21 season, in 72 games played, Bogdanovic averaged 17 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. On May 1, 2021, in the team’s 106-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors, the six-foot-seven Croatian scored a season-high 34 points, shooting 12-for-22, and he finished his performance with four rebounds and four assists as well. On July 7, 2019, he signed a four-year, $73 million contract with the Jazz.

In 67 games played last season, Ingles averaged 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. The six-foot-eight forward is set to earn $14 million in the 2021-22 season. Plus, among the mentioned players, Royce O’Neale has contributed the least. In 71 games played last season, he averaged seven points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. On January 19, 2020, the forward signed a four-year, $36 million extension with the team. He will earn $8.6 million next season. According to The Athletic, in the team’s seventh workout for draft prospects, they viewed Quentin Grimes, David Duke, Matt Mitchell, and a few other players. In the first round, if the team chooses not to draft any of the players they are holding workouts for, the organization will trade the No. 30 pick.

Just for a reminder, retrieved from Spotrac, the 2021-22 NBA luxury tax threshold is $136,606,000. Utah’s active roster cap is $133,284,695, the maximum cap is $112,414,000, and the current cap space is $72,990,215. Furthermore, center Rudy Gobert currently has the highest guaranteed contract on the team. On December 20, 2020, Gobert signed a five-year, $205 million extension with the organization. Gobert is set to earn $35.3 million in the coming season, whereas Donovan Mitchell will earn $28.1 million. Gobert and Mitchell combined consume 47.6 percent of the team’s salary cap. For the upcoming 2021-22 season, the Jazz have a guaranteed total of $129,719,453. Based on the team’s future outlook, the Jazz will have to make a trade or two in order to retain their star players. This should go without saying.

NBA Analysis Network reported a few days ago that a potential Jazz-Knicks trade target is Bojan Bogdanovic. Greg Patuto proposed the Knicks receiving Bogdanovic, while the Jazz would receive Kevin Knox II, and the Nos. 19 and No. 32 picks of the 2021 NBA Draft. Now, this could still happen at some point during this draft week, but then again, sports bettors and fans alike understand that these news reports could be just rumors. The most intelligent, unforthcoming general managers know not to leave bread crumb trails for the media, especially leading into the offseason. They will do everything necessary to protect their foolproof plans.

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2021 NBA Draft Best Bets Analysis for the Player Draft Position Market

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The 2021 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 29 at 8:00 p.m. (EST). The draft will be televised on ESPN and ABC. The location of the draft is at the Nets’ Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Nonetheless, although ABC is indeed airing the draft this year, they are only televising the first round. This is the first NBA draft to be held in the month of July since the 1947 Basketball Association of America (BAA) Draft.

Of course, that league went on to become the National Basketball Association (NBA). For NBA Draft betting, there are plenty of sports books available for American gamblers. The best sports books include Bovada, DraftKings, MyBookie, FanDuel, and BetUS. For NBA Draft Futures, Bovada, DraftKings and BetGM are reasonable options. Additionally, there are multiple betting apps in existence nowadays that are accessible and easy to use, such as from BetUS, Bovada, BetOnline and Intertops.

No. 1 Pick: Cade Cunningham (-8000)

Cade Cunningham is the front-runner for the first overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. He is the Big 12 Player of the Year (2021) and consensus first-team All-American (2021). On November 25, 2020, in his college debut, the 19-year-old native Texan earned 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Oklahoma State Cowboys’ 75-68 victory over the UT Arlington Mavericks. On February 27, 2021, he posted a college career-high of 40 points and 11 rebounds, in a 94-90 overtime win over the Oklahoma Sooners. In 27 games played, the six-foot-eight guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

On the RSCI Top 100, he also ranked first above all other recruits. With a total of 544 points, Cunningham led the Big 12 in scoring during the 2020-21 season. When asked about how he felt concerning the probability of his No. 1 selection in the draft, he said, “If I am able to go in there and be the No. 1 pick, I’m going to try to carry that same swag in how I walk on the court and make the most out of it and wear the red, white, and blue for sure.” Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver also compared Cunningham to Grant Hill, the No. 3 pick out of Duke from the 1994 NBA Draft.

Reported by CBS Sports, the Houston Rockets are interested in trading up to pick Cunningham. According to Shams Charania of Stadium, the Detroit Pistons and Rockets are negotiating a possible trade. This is considering the fact that Houston also has the Nos. 23 and 24 picks of this draft, too. The sports reporter for The Athletic and Stadium stated, “The Houston Rockets have the No. 2 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, but I’m told they’re aggressively pursuing Detroit’s No. 1 overall pick. The Rockets have done extensive research on presumptive No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham.” If the organization is serious about trading up, they’ll do everything in their power to make it happen.

 

No. 2 Pick: Jalen Green (+200)

Jalen Green has the highest odds of being selected second in the draft. According to NBA.com mock drafts and various oddsmakers, his draft position is still most appealing to the Houston Rockets, especially if the Pistons are unwilling to make a trade. Green is a six-foot-six shooting guard from the NBA G League. On March 8, 2021, while playing for the NBA G League Ignite in the first round of the playoffs, the 19-year-old shooting guard finished his performance with a season-high of 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds, in the 127-102 defeat versus the Raptors 905. In 15 games played in the 2020-21 season, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 minutes played per game.

Per one report from Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Houston staff writer stated, “USC’s Evan Mobley has been discussed in some circles, as well as Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, but smart money would be on the Rockets taking the 19-year-old out of the G League’s Ignite on draft night.” He reaffirmed his position and main point a bout head coach Stephen Silas’ likeness to flexible guards by stating, “It’s well known that head coach Stephen Silas has an affinity for versatile guards, and Green has been said to have the highest upside in his class, from a scoring, explosive and star standpoint.” The California-born athlete could fit in nicely with the Rockets.

No. 3 Pick: Evan Mobley (-200)

Evan Mobley has the best odds for the third overall pick of the draft. Mobley is the seven-foot tall forward/center Pac-12 Player of the Year (2021) and consensus second-team All-American (2021) from the USC Trojans. On March 11, 2021, in the team’s 91-85 double overtime win against the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals, Mobley scored a career-high 26 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. In 33 games played in the 2020-21 season for the Trojans, Mobley averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a field goal percentage of 57.8 percent. The Trojans made it to the Elite Eight after concluding their season schedule with the second-most wins (25) in program history. According to the RSCI Top 100, the 20-year-old player was ranked third on the list.

Since Anthony Davis from the Southeastern Conference in 2012, he is the only other player to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman Player of the Year all in the same year. Mobley told the media on Friday, “I feel like as a modern-day NBA big, you have to be able to shoot, guard multiple positions, stretch the floor, and put the ball on the floor a little bit.” He later said in the interview, “I think I’ll be a generational player that no one has really seen before. That’s what I’m aspiring to be, and I’m just going to keep working and staying in the gym until I get there.” The Cleveland Cavaliers are in position to draft Mobley, but teams like the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic could trade up to pursue the player on draft night.

Player Draft Position

The top 10 most common picks of this draft are Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Jonathan Kuminga, James Bouknight, Davion Mitchell, Keon Johnson and Franz Wagner. However, Josh Giddey could be the dark horse for the New Orleans Pelicans, considering they have the tenth pick of the draft. To add to that observation, The Ringer mock draft is showing Corey Kispert at the No. 10 spot. Kispert’s draft value lies within his perimeter shooting. In the 2020-21 season, the six-foot-seven Gonzaga forward shot 44 percent from beyond the arc. He also led the West Coast Conference in three-point field goal attempts (207) and shots made (91) last season.

Furthermore, Charles Bassey has options showing Over 38.5 (-105) and Under 38.5 (-125). Daishan Nix has a draft position presenting Over 50.5 (-125) and Under 50.5 (-105). Plus, David Johnson’s position betting odds show Over 45.5 (-120) and Under 45.5 (-110). A few bettors are predicting Jalen Johnson will go Under 12.5 (+150) in the draft. He has +10000 odds of being selected fifth overall in the draft. Yahoo Sports mock draft writers are predicting Ziaire Williams will get drafted at No. 14 by the Golden State Warriors. Though, the consensus favorite for the No. 14 spot is Oregon’s Chris Duarte. Moreover, Bleacher Report has the Warriors drafting Moses Moody at No. 7. The first-team All-SEC (2021) and SEC Freshman of the Year (2021) has +175 odds of being selected in the top 10 of the draft.

  • All table odds were retrieved from Bovada

Exact Order – Top 4 Pick Odds

In the first round of the draft, the favored exact order is Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs. The current odds are listed at -120. Another realistic possibility is Evan Mobley getting selected before Jalen Green. The exact order odds for this scenario are +600. While the Rockets seem to show the most interest in Green, the organization could pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Bettors should not assume anything. The Rockets may go after Cunningham, if the opportunity presents itself and trades occur the night of the draft. Moreover, there is also a chance that Suggs could get picked before Mobley.

The odds for that outcome are also +600. The Cavaliers could use another aggressive defender and solid play-maker. Suggs specializes in pick-and-roll situations, so this is something for the Cavs to consider in the long run. In 30 games played, he averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and shot 50.3 percent from the field. As a Gonzaga Bulldog, the 20-year-old guard also won a state championship in his freshman season. Having said all of this, fans need to lower their expectations before the draft. There are times these mock drafts and player interviews are not what they seem.

Regarding NBA Draft betting sites, e.g. FanDuel, DraftKings and BetUS, bettors can bet on the top three or four picks in order, the first player to be drafted by position, a specific player being drafted by a certain team and the Over/Under player number in the draft. As for placing bets before or during the season, the choices to bet on assists, rebounds and points per game are other notable opportunities to keep in mind. Not to mention, NBA Finals prop bets, the Finals MVP winner and regular season MVP winner are other options as well. The 2022 NBA Finals is scheduled to begin in June of next year.

 

 

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