Celtics win the lottery, so here are (unofficial) draft props

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

May 17, 2017 05:15 AM
bradstevens
Brad Stevens is coaching the top-seeded team in the East, and the Celtics also won the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery.
© USA Today Sports Images

Flashing his familiar smile, while also sweating out a big bet, Magic Johnson got what he needed. He attended the NBA Draft Lottery in New York for a reason.

He’s Magic. He’s no hapless loser riddled by bad luck.

So it was really no surprise Tuesday when the ping-pong balls bounced the Los Angeles Lakers’ way, and Magic walked away with the No. 2 pick in a loaded draft.

Brad Stevens is pretty lucky, too. The Boston Celtics, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, drew the No. 1 pick by virtue of Danny Ainge’s blockbuster 2013 trade with Brooklyn. Philadelphia and Phoenix are set to draft third and fourth, respectively.

This was a critical lottery for the Lakers. If they landed outside of the top three, their pick would have gone to Philadelphia, and their 2019 first-round pick would have gone to Orlando. That was the potential nightmare scenario.

Jim Buss has been kicked out of the picture, and the picks are safe. The Lakers’ future is no longer clouded by smog.

A case for the No. 1 pick could be made for any one of four college freshmen — Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, Duke forward Jayson Tatum and Kansas forward Josh Jackson — though Fultz is the favorite to go to Boston.

Ball reportedly plans to work out only for the Lakers, so there might not be much mystery involved in the top two picks.

Matthew Holt of CG Technology sports books said his company is likely to petition the Nevada Gaming Control Board to approve proposition wagering on the NBA Draft, just as CGT and William Hill sports book did for the NFL Draft, which attracted surprisingly strong wagering action.

No other draft compares to the NFL, but looking ahead to June 22, when the books turn into ghost towns, why not create some business?

Will Fultz be the No. 1 overall pick? Let’s start with a prop price of “Yes” minus-500 and “No” plus-400. That price might be too high, mainly because Fultz is not a perfect fit for the Celtics' puzzle, but as of now he's the consensus top pick.

VSiN host Mitch Moss (@MitchMossRadio) put on an oddsmaker hat and prepared an unofficial list of possible NBA Draft props:

* Total number of college freshmen drafted in the first round: 16.5

* Total number of freshmen to go in the lottery (top 14): 10.5

* When will the first non-freshman be drafted: 9

* Total number of college seniors drafted in the first round: 0.5

* Total number of international players drafted in the first round: 4

* Kentucky players drafted in the first round: 2.5

* UCLA players drafted in the first round: 2.5

* Duke players drafted in the first round: 3

Matt Youmans’ NBA mock draft (lottery)

1. Celtics: Markelle Fultz, 6-4 PG, Washington

Fultz might not be the best fit for Boston, which has Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart in the backcourt. Thomas needs to dominate the ball to be most effective, and so does Fultz. The Celtics’ bigger need is an athletic wing such as Jackson or Tatum. Or Jimmy Butler.

2. Lakers: Lonzo Ball, 6-7 PG, UCLA

Magic Johnson sees himself and some of Jason Kidd in this kid. A high-IQ point guard who has exceptional court vision, elevates the play of his teammates and has a hitch in his shot.

3. 76ers: Jayson Tatum, 6-8 SF, Duke

The Celtics could use Tatum against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals. The Sixers need a scoring guard, so they might consider a trade, but it would be tough to pass on Tatum or Jackson. 

4. Suns: Josh Jackson, 6-8 SF, Kansas

The Suns are mostly set with guards, so they need a big, versatile athlete. Jackson is a high-energy player who can score inside and out, defend and rebound. Phoenix would be happy to get Jackson or Tatum.

5. Kings: De’Aaron Fox, 6-3 PG, Kentucky

This is bad news for Fox, who would disappear into obscurity in Sacramento. But it’s a good pick for the Kings, who are looking for a dynamic point guard.

6. Magic: Lauri Markkanen, 7-0 PF, Arizona

His stock will rise between now and the draft. Markkanen is a tantalizing prospect because he’s got size, skills and 3-point shooting range.

7. Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac, 6-11 PF, Florida State

Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau has a young team with several scorers and too few good defenders. Isaac is a defense-first athlete with a high ceiling. He would fit in with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

8. Knicks: Malik Monk, 6-4 SG, Kentucky

Seeking a split with Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks will be hunting for a shooter. In a win against North Carolina in December, Monk made 8 of 12 3s and scored 47 points. The Knicks would love to get him, if he’s still on the board.

9. Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina, 6-5 PG, France

The scouting reports say this is a big point guard with a 7-foot wingspan who can run the offense and defend. Foreign players are always a mystery for mock drafters. If Markkanen slips, is he the next Dirk Nowitzki?

10. Kings: Zach Collins, 7-0 PF, Gonzaga

A 7-footer who can run the floor, shoot and protect the rim. Collins is not the next DeMarcus Cousins, for better or worse, but the former Bishop Gorman High star would be an intriguing replacement for him.

11. Hornets: OG Anunoby, 6-8 SF, Indiana

A knee injury ended his sophomore season early, so he’s under the radar. But Anunoby is one of the most explosive athletes in this draft, and he defends, so his stock should rise after his workouts.

12. Pistons: Dennis Smith Jr., 6-3 PG, North Carolina State

Smith has the potential to be an elite NBA point guard. But he has track record of inconsistency and a knee injury in his history. He could go in the top 10 or slide.

13. Nuggets: Luke Kennard, 6-6 SG, Duke

Every team is searching for 3-point shooting. Kennard does not have that so-called high upside, because he’s not a great athlete, but he can shoot and would be a good fit with the Nuggets.

14. Heat: Justin Jackson, 6-8 SF, North Carolina

This just feels like a Heat pick. He could be a smaller Chris Bosh. Jackson has length, shooting range and does a lot of things to help a team win.

back to news

QuickPicks_300x250_080920_NFLkickoff

Headlines

View All
  • Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Magny should shine in Fight Island 8

    Wednesday’s UFC event begins at 6 a.m. Pacific Time, so the theme might as well be Beatdowns and Bagels. Max Holloway dominated Calvin Kattar...
  • Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Watch bombers in Palm Springs event

    Kevin Na shot 61-65 on the weekend to win the Sony Open in Hawaii at as high as 80-1 odds. Na (40-1) will attempt to win in back-to-back weeks this week...
  • Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Schedule critical in CBB futures bets

    Last week we discussed the importance of taking a positive approach to college basketball futures betting. That is, focus on playing plus numbers instead...
  • First impressions as hockey returns

    First impressions as hockey returns

    It’s great to have hockey back, but bettors must temper their expectations and trust their preseason projections. Therefore, this is a great time...
  • Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    Tuley's Takes on Championship Sunday

    The NFL’s divisional playoff round was a mixed bag for us here at the Tuley’s Takes home office, though I spent Saturday at Circa with VSiN...
  • Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    Injuries dog Chiefs, but Packers on roll

    And then there were four. We’re looking forward to what is maybe the single best day on the NFL calendar: Championship Sunday. The matchups are...
  • Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    Championship Sunday: Sifting recent trends

    For as different as this NFL season has been due to the impact of COVID-19, the first two weeks of the playoffs have generally followed the trends of...
  • How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    How to gain edge betting CBB rematches

    (To view the charts with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) In a typical college basketball season, and to a lesser degree this season,...
  • Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    Mahomes mystery puts oddsmakers in bind

    It’s generally easy for oddsmakers to post lines on most NFL games. The numbers are typically airtight, unlike in college football. A quarterback...
  • Championship Sunday capsules

    Championship Sunday capsules

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Buccaneers at Packers (3:05 p.m. ET Sunday) The Packers opened as consensus four-point home favorites against the...
  • With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    With Pacers surging, Clippers on long haul

    Another week gone, and bettors have yet to see any NBA team separate itself from the pack. The Los Angeles Lakers seem like the surest thing on the board,...
  • 10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    10 months in making, going all in on Bucs

    I made some bets on the Buccaneers last March that are now very much alive. These were placed the night before Tom Brady announced where he was signing....

Google Play
App Store
Close