What are the Odds the No. 1 NBA Draft Pick Gets Traded?

What are the Odds the No. 1 NBA Draft Pick Gets Traded?
USA Today
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Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

By Mark Strotman | | 3 mins

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The NBA Draft Lottery takes place Tuesday night in Chicago but rumor season has already begun. There were reports Tuesday that the New York Knicks would have interest in trading for disgruntled six-time All-Star Anthony Davis if they win the Lottery and earn the top pick.

New Orleans’ asking price is rightfully significant, but here’s why the Knicks make the most sense as a possible trade partner. And if NBA betting fans wanted to wager on that happening, they can at PointsBet, which is offering a host of Zion Williamson and NBA Draft lottery prop bets, including +600 that the top pick in the NBA Draft will be traded.

Knicks Tied for Best Odds

The NBA Draft Lottery will look different this season for the first time in nearly 30 years. Whereas the NBA’s worst team previously had a 25 percent chance at obtaining the first pick – with the other 13 teams receiving smaller odds – the bottom three teams in the draft now have equal 14 percent odds at obtaining the first pick.

That’s significant for the Knicks, who finished with the NBA’s worst record and yet have the same 14 percent chance as both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns to earn the top pick. Still, there’s power in having the most combinations available when the 14 ping pong balls start bouncing around.

The Knicks’ implied odds of winning the Lottery are +614, and oddsmakers have set their odds – in addition to the Suns and Cavs – at +600. It’s as good a bet as there is in on the board, as NBA lottery betting odds lag quite a bit with bookmakers.

Zion Williamson Is The No-Brainer First Pick

The reason the Knicks are already (reportedly) dangling the first pick for Davis is because everyone knows who will go first overall. Williamson is a can’t-miss, star-in-the-making NBA prospect. He’s the surest bet to go No. 1 overall since, ironically, Davis in 2012, and he might be the best talent the draft has seen since 2003 and LeBron James.

Williamson’s combination of size, speed, athleticism and strength allowed him to average 22.0 points on 68 percent shooting and 8.9 rebounds as a freshman at Duke. He became the third player in NCAA history to be named the Naismith Player of the Year, joining Davis and Kevin Durant.

He’d be the first pick in just about any draft in recent memory, and he’s a no-brainer selection in a 2019 class that’s considered one of the weakest in the last few seasons. That’s why sportsbooks have Williamson at -2500 to be selected first overall. They’re massive odds, but also warranted.

Might Anthony Davis be dealt for the rights to pick Zion Williamson?
USA Today
Might Anthony Davis be dealt for the rights to pick Zion Williamson?

So, Will The Pick Be Dealt?

The only real scenario in which the first pick will be dealt is if Davis is included. Because the 2019 class is so weak, and because Williamson will change whichever franchise he goes to, there’s no combination of picks and young talent another team could throw at the winner of the Lottery to convince them to deal Williamson.

But Davis is a different story. He’s a top-10 player in the league and at 25 years old hasn’t even entered his prime. There’s a 99.9 percent chance Williamson becomes a great player. There’s a 100 percent chance Davis already is.

If the Knicks win the Lottery, they could certainly put together a package that includes the first pick for Davis. Their thinking is obvious: With Davis on board and cap space available to bring in two superstars this summer, New York becomes a prime destination.

A trio of Davis, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant immediately puts the Knicks back in the mix as NBA title contenders.

Still, trades are difficult to swing and there are still other teams that could put together a package for Davis. Just about every other team in the Lottery isn’t in position to contend in the near future, meaning trading for Davis doesn’t do much in the short-term – Davis is a free agent in two seasons and, thus, would need to agree to a max deal.

It’s why PointsBet has the odds at +600 that the first pick will be traded. But if the Knicks are lucky in Chicago on Wednesday night, and they begin negotiations with New Orleans for a deal involving Davis, those odds will surely shrink.

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