Odds On 2020 NBA Draft No. 1 Pick & Which Team Takes Him
The 2019-20 NBA season is scheduled to resume at the end of July, but as coaches and players prep for the stretch run, general managers and scouts are breaking down their plans for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Without the usual scouting combines and a short window between season, draft and new season, this year’s draft offers a unique approach for NBA teams.
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For fans of NBA betting, sportsbooks are offering odds as to the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, set for Oct. 15.
Bookies.com breaks down the field — and the unique situation — and finds the value plays.
Here are the top contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick, per the odds at Unibet:
Who Will Be No. 1 Pick In NBA Draft?
Odds are subject to change.
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Which Team Picks No. 1?
We won’t know which team has the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft until the NBA holds its draft lottery, Aug. 25. Here are the teams with the best chance at No. 1.
|Golden State Warriors||14%|
|New York Knicks||9%|
Questions For The Favorites
The two players at the top of the board are there for a reason, but neither is a slam dunk.
Anthony Edwards, 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Georgia, has a level of athleticism that NBA scouts drool over. He’s a natural scorer, long-range shooter and up-close finisher who has been compared favorably to Dwyane Wade.
What he wasn’t, at least at Georgia, was very selective. He averaged 19.1 points per game on just 40.2% shooting, including 29.4% on 3-pointers. If the Warriors have the No. 1 pick, the last thing they need is a backcourt gunner who commands the ball. It would be great for Edwards to learn behind a Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, but is that how Golden State would aim to use its No. 1 pick?
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James Wiseman, meanwhile, is a 7-1, 235-pound athlete with a 7-6 wingspan, a great offensive touch and a shot-blocking mentality. Of course, he’s the ultimate prospect: Wiseman played just three college games at Memphis before being declared ineligible.
He averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks while shooting a crazy 76.9%. But the sample size just isn’t there. And without a scouting combine to see how he matches up with other elites his own size, he remains a true high-risk, high-reward pick.
Obi Toppin, a 6-9 power forward from Dayton, may be as NBA ready as anyone in the top 10. He crushed it at Dayton, averaging 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.8 apg while shooting 66.6% in just 26.5 minutes a game, leading the Flyers to their best season ever. His size, wingspan and athleticism are all suitable for the pro game and his 39% 3-point shooting is better than a lot of the guards on the board.
Toppin has his own issues, however. Speed and footwork are question marks, and he wasn’t the overpowering rebounder that some may have hoped for against Atlantic-10 competition.
Onyeka Okongwu, a 6-9, 240-pounder from USC, is a defensive powerhouse. He also averaged 16.2 ppg on 61.6% shooting, but most scouts believe his offensive game needs work to be productive in the NBA. He’s the No. 2 frontcourt player on most draft boards, after Wiseman.
Who Are These International Guys?
Even for college basketball fans, there are a few names in consideration that may not look familiar. That’s because they didn’t play college ball.
It starts with a known name in LaMelo Ball, whose older brother Lonzo Ball is the point guard for the Pelicans. Another brother, LiAngelo Ball, is in the G League and father LaVar Ball is the enigmatic CEO of Big Baller Brand.
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Instead of going the college route, LaMelo spent last season playing professionally in Australia. He left high school before his junior year due to a dispute with his coach and signed with a professional team in Lithuania.
Many scouts believe LaMelo Ball, a smooth 6-7 point guard, will be the best of the bunch. He was the NBL Rookie of the Year, averaging 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. But will his high-profile history and his notable family dynamic deter the team with the top pick? It’s probably going to be a factor.
Deni Avdija is a supremely talented small forward (6-9) from Israel, one of the most decorated players on the European circuit in decades. He was the MVP of the FIBA U20 European Championships when he was just 18 and led Israel to the Euro championship when he was 17. He’ll still be just 19 at the start of the 2020-21 season.
Killian Hayes, a 6-5 point guard from France, was MVP of the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championships and has been playing professionally since. He was averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.2 apg in Germany’s top league before play was halted due to the coronavirus. Hayes will be 19 next season.
NBA Draft No. 1 Pick
The Warriors, Cavaliers and Timberwolves all have a 14% chance for the top pick. Each may have different needs.
If the Warriors get the pick, a big man like Wiseman may be the pick. If it’s the Timberwolves, perhaps it’s an outside threat like Edwards to go alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. The Cavaliers could go in any direction.
None of those teams — and same with the Hawks (12.5%), who are next in line — are in dire need of a point guard. Ball and Killian aren’t likely the top choice for any of them.
Avdija is the X-factor ascending up the charts. Some teams might be in love with the European star, others may balk at taking a European prospect at No. 1 without a true combine or in-person workouts.
Right now, the value is on Wiseman. In a draft full of potential standouts at guard and small forward, Wiseman is the lone, sure top-10 post player. Despite his lack of big-time competition, Wiseman is what the Warriors need, and many of the bottom teams in contention for the top pick would be willing to gamble on an unproven, but potentially great, big man. Take Wiseman at a solid +175 price at Unibet. For those looking for a bigger payoff, Avdija at +1500 is a calculated gamble.