Bet the Prop Against a Gonzaga Player in NBA Draft Top 10
On Thursday night at Barclays Center, Gonzaga stars Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke will be seated at tables just in front of the stage where NBA commissioner Adam Silver will call out the names of the selected first-rounders.
That’s a good indication that both are slated for the Top 20. The NBA does not invite players to the so-called “green room” (it is neither green nor a room) unless there is some confidence that the players won’t be forced to linger in embarrassment in front of the stage for long.
But the question for bettors pondering draft prop bets is whether either of the two Zags can crack the draft’s Top 10. Increasingly, that is looking like a resounding no.
Despite Working with Suns, Clarke a Longshot
Clarke is a longshot for the Top 10. He has worked out for the Hawks, but would likely be slated for their No. 17 pick, not the No. 10 pick they hold. He’s worked out for Charlotte (No. 12), Miami (13) and Orlando (16).
Interestingly, Clarke also has worked out for his hometown Suns (No. 6). He would be a reach for Phoenix there, but the Suns could trade down and still draft him. If that trade involved Atlanta’s No. 10 pick, Clarke’s chance to be a Top 10 pick would open up.
Brandon Clarke worked out for the Suns today after spending yesterday with management. The interest appears very strong from Phoenix’s point of view.— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 11, 2019
Clarke is ranked No. 6 overall on my big board. https://t.co/8IhAVWtmKx
Still, most scouts see Clarke as too much an in-between player—too small to play power forward, not athletic enough to be a small forward—to be a Top 10 talent.
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Hachimura's Stock More Promising
Hachimura has a better shot at cracking the Top 10, coming off a season in which he averaged 19.7 points on 59.1 percent shooting (41.7 percent from the 3-point line). But Hachimura is already 21 and in NBA Draft years, that’s downright old.
“He was great for (Gonzaga) last year,” one scout said. “But the draft is partly about upside and I don’t know how much upside is left for him. You think about guys like Brandon Ingram or (Jayson) Tatum and they’re the same age or younger than him. They’ve been in the NBA for a couple years. He’s been in the WCC (West Coast Conference).”
Hachimura participated in his agency’s pro day last month, but has not worked out otherwise, leaving scouts and front-office executives to speculate that he has been promised a spot in the lottery by a team outside the Top 10—the Timberwolves (No. 11) are most likely but the Hornets (No. 12) and the Heat (No. 13) are possibilities, too.
Both Clarke and Hachimura will be picked in or around the lottery on Thursday. But the Top 10 is a longshot.
About the Author
Sean Deveney has covered sports for more than two decades, writing for Sporting News, appearing as a guest on radio shows in major media markets nationwide and on television for ESPN, Comcast, CNN and FOX. He has covered 19 NBA Finals, two World Series, the NHL playoffs, a Super Bowl and the Olympics in London and Rio. He is the author of six books, including Facing Michael Jordan: Players Recall the Greatest Basketball Player who Ever Lived.