Last Thursday, 60 players had their dreams come true when their name was called on the NBA Draft stage. However, not all 30 teams can be happy with the way the 2017 NBA Draft went. And there’s no doubt there are a few fan-bases who woke up the next day still fuming.
Before we move on from the bickering, I think I speak on behalf of all NBA fans when I say, stop making these kids walk on the stage and put on a hat of a team that has already traded them! Woj has these trades reported well in advance to Adam Silver announcing it, and the NFL and NHL don’t have this issue. Why do you have to make it harder on the fans who want to know who their team drafted? C’mon man!
Getting back to the actual results of the NBA Draft, here are the updated Rookie of the Year odds, along with a couple winners and losers from last night’s draft.
Lonzo Ball, Lakers: 11/2
Ben Simmons, 76ers: 6/1
Markelle Fultz, 76ers: 19/3
De’Aaron Fox, Kings: 15/2
Jonathan Isaac, Magic: 9/1
Dennis Smith Jr, Mavericks: 10/1
Josh Jackson, Suns: 11/1
Jayson Tatum, Celtics: 12/1
Before you go placing any bets on Markelle Fultz for Rookie of the Year, first consider that he’s not the only highly-touted rookie suiting up for the 76ers this season. Last year’s first-overall pick, Ben Simmons, will also be taking the court for his rookie season, and is likely to share the spotlight with Fultz.
As a result, Lonzo Ball, who will quarterback the Laker offense from day one, becomes the favorite for Rookie of the Year. Other players like De’Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith Jr will also be heavily-relied upon by their new teams, and therefore enjoy shorter odds. On the other hand, Jayson Tatum may be the most gifted scorer in the draft, but will have to battle for minutes on a talented Celtic roster. And unfortunately for Josh Jackson, defense hardly means anything to the voters.
I won’t credit them for drafting De’Aaron Fox, because he merely fell to them at no. 5. However, trading in the no. 10 pick for no. 15 and 20 was a great move for a team that is aware they’re more than one player away from competing. Justin Jackson gives them a dependable wing who has very few weaknesses to his game. Taking a swing on Harry Giles at 20 was another great pick. If the Duke product can regain his athleticism, he has the potential to be an All-Star.
These picks may not result in a trip to the playoffs this season, but Sacramento took multiple steps in the right direction.
Odds to make the playoffs in 2017-18: 9/1
Moving up to no. 13 for Donovan Mitchell was brilliant. The combo guard from Louisville is a tremendous athlete who is a do-it-all player. If the Jazz are able to retain George Hill, the two will play off each other very well. Utah was also able to fill the hole left by trading Trey Lyles to move up the board, selecting Tony Bradley from UNC.
So long as they can hold onto Gordon Hayward, Utah will be back in the playoffs, and this time may be able to take one game off Golden State.
Odds to make the playoffs in 2017-18: 1/2
Although I didn’t love the player Minnesota drafted at no. 16 (Justin Patton), it’s hard to argue with acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. Parting ways with Zach LaVine may have been tough, but Butler is a three-time All-Star who can dramatically change the organization.
Reuniting Butler with Tom Thibodeau will produce results on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, Minnesota is on the outside looking in, in a very tough Western Conference.
Odds to make the playoffs in 2017-18: 7/8
First they trade Jimmy Butler for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and nine-spot higher draft pick. Then they sell off their other pick, Jordan Bell, to the Golden State Warriors for cash. Did no one on the Bulls’ management team stop and say, “if the best team in the league is willing to pay us money for this player, should we maybe keep him?”
I don’t hate Lauri Markkanen, their first-round pick, but he’s also not the type of player who can shoulder the load of a franchise. Best of luck with a 35-year-old Dwyane Wade, though.
Odds to make the playoffs in 2017-18: 2/1
Paul George isn’t re-signing after this season, and they weren’t able to obtain a top-pick for him. Things could change, but the longer George stays on the roster, the worse the return will be. Indiana also reached on TJ Leaf, who isn’t much more than a stretch-four. Without a premier ball-handler to find him behind the arc, Leaf will make little impact.
Odds to make the playoffs in 2017-18: 3/1
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