The NBA Draft is in June and there are seemingly three players with a chance of being taken first.
Steady money has come for Jabari Smith after he declared for the NBA Draft on Tuesday.
He currently heads NBA Draft odds, but hot on his heels are Chet Holmgren and early favorite Paolo Banchero.
Market Overreaction for Smith?
Jabari Smith has always been on the NBA scouts radar, but with the Auburn player declaring himself only hours ago, has the market overreacted?
He had a terrific season for the Tigers, scoring 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and two assists per game. The numbers are solid, but they’re not at the same level as top draft picks in recent years.
“Auburn will forever be my home and will be a place that is going to be a part of me forever,” Smith said via Twitter. “The long hours in the gym and the weight room have given me this opportunity and the chance to chase my dream of playing in the NBA. But none of this would have ever been possible without the love and the sacrifices that were made by my dad and my mom.”
We think the market has adjusted too much since the news broke and that Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero are still the top picks.
The sportsbookcurrently has Smith at +115. He has firmed steadily since markets opened, and he would look at home with the likes of the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons.
However, a lot depends on the NBA Lottery. Should the Pistons get the top spot, we can’t see them picking Smith.
Don’t Sleep on Banchero
We’re not sure why there has been a lack of recent support for Banchero. The Duke star showed excellent consistency throughout the season, which is what scouts look for.
He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assist per game, so the statistics read better than Smith.
Banchero went down fighting in the Final Four against North Carolina with 20 points and 10 rebounds, so he lost no admirers with that performance.
Our only concern is that he didn’t have a big scoring game throughout the season. His biggest tally was 28 points, but it came against The Citadel Bulldogs, so the level of opposition was weak.
However, his shooting percentage was often off the charts. He shot at 80% against Miami, 72.7% against Virginia Tech and 58.3% in the Sweet 16 game against Texas Tech.
Betting online markets have let his odds drift to +250, which is a fantastic price. He remains a popular pick for all the teams likely to get the top draft pick.
Holmgren is Unique
Being unique is both an asset and a problem. NBA teams don’t have anyone to compare Chet Holmgren to, which is where the problem lies.
However, the 7-footer is a rare talent and we wouldn’t be surprised if he was taken first in the NBA Draft.
The Gonzaga Bulldog almost averaged a double-double, and although his scoring was inconsistent toward the end of the season, he went 14 consecutive games scoring in double digits.
The worry is his size and having just one season at college. We think he could have done with another year, because we have seen tall and skinny centers struggle in the NBA.
“It’s the same thing we heard about Kevin Durant when he was entering the NBA. He can’t lift 135 pounds, but he can shoot the hell out of the ball and impact the game. Chet can have the same impact in a game on a different level than Durant,” an NBA scout said.
Holmgren is +200 with bookmakers, so he’s being respected.