The NBA Draft is nearly upon us with a fresh crop of young talent set to join the league.
There’s always plenty of uncertainty ahead of the draft, and this year is no exception, but that doesn’t mean there’s no value to be found. Here’s a look at some of the best prop bets ahead of this year’s draft.
LaMelo Ball Over 2.5
There might not be a more talked-about player in this year’s draft class than point guard LaMelo Ball, but that certainly does not make him a lock to be taken within the top two picks in this year’s NBA Draft.
For all the hype, Ball has not had the opportunity to solidify his draft stock on the court. He has not played a competitive basketball game since November of last year, meaning it’s been almost a year since anybody has even seen him in live-action
Then there’s a question of fit. The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors hold the top two picks with shooting guard Anthony Edwards from Georgia, center James Wiseman from Memphis and Ball the top prospects in the draft.
Out of those top three players, Edwards would seem to be the best fit for the Timberwolves, who already have all-stars at point guard and center in D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Additionally, it’s already become clear that if available, the Warriors intend to select Wiseman. That likely puts Ball at No. 3 to the Charlotte Hornets, outside the top two picks.
James Wiseman Under 2.5
If the draft order stays the same with no trades, it is all-but a lock that Wiseman is selected among the first two picks in the draft.
Though Edwards is the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Timberwolves, the Warriors appear to be primed and ready to select Wiseman with the No. 2 pick in the draft, especially over Ball, who would likely come off the bench given Golden State’s current roster.
The only real threat to this prop would be a trade. However, any team trading into the top two picks would likely be trading to select Wiseman, not another player. Regardless of who selects him, but Wiseman will be a top two pick in this year’s draft.
Over 4.5 Freshmen Drafted in the Top 10
There’s no question that a lack of an NCAA Tournament and a traditional NBA combine hindered the evaluation process for some of the younger players in this draft class, but there’s still a strong chance we see at least five freshmen taken among the first 10 picks of the draft.
Three freshmen are already absolute locks to be top 10 picks with Edwards and Wiseman likely going in the first two picks and USC forward Onyeka Okongwu projected in the latter half of the top 10. That leaves Auburn’s Isaac Okoro and Florida State’s Patrick Williams as the next most likely to find their way into the top 10.
There isn’t quite as much slam-dunk freshman talent in this year’s draft class as years past, but that does not change the fact that NBA teams typically go after young talent in the draft. Freshmen made up seven of the first 10 picks in the 2019 draft and eight of the top 10 picks in both the 2018 and 2017 drafts. Expect the trend to continue this year.