The Celtics must have had the luck of the Irish on Tuesday night at the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery as Boston ended up with the #1 pick and the pundits and oddsmakers—say the C’s have a two-player Pac-12 choice between UCLA guard Lonzo Ball and Washington guard Markelle Fultz.
The Celtics had a pretty strong 25% chance of landing the #1 pick in Tuesday night’s 2017 NBA Draft Lottery held in New York City and Boston General Manager Danny Ainge must have had a kelly green rabbit’s foot in his pocket as the Celtics emerged with the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft set to be held on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (ESPN, 7 pm. ET). Heading into the Draft lottery, oddsmakers at offshore sportsbook BetOnline had Washington’s Markelle Fultz priced at -300 to be the #1 choice and a look at the oddsboard Wednesday morning showed a dollar (100 cents) rise in the odds of the Huskies 6-foot-4, 195-pound freshman guard to -400 with odds on UCLA’s Lonzo Ball being chosen first moving from +300 to +375, meaning those betting into this niche market believe Fultz will go #1 and that -300 was the best price they think they’d see over the next three weeks.
NBA Finals MVP Race Likely a Battle Between LeBron and Best Warrior
To win the NBA Finals MVP, you obviously must get to the NBA Finals and with Golden State (-360 to win NBA Finals, BetOnline) and defending NBA champions Cleveland (+285 to win NBA Finals, BetOnline) still unbeaten this NBA Postseason, it seems Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and maybe Draymond Green from the Warriors (40-39-3 ATS) and LeBron James from the Cavaliers (36-43-3 ATS) are the only candidates to win this award although we saw Andre Iguodala did for the Dubs in their championship season two years ago, snatching the NBA Finals MVP as a Reserve at mammoth 185/1 odds. Here are current NBA Finals MVP odds:
NBA Finals MVP, NBA Draft #1 Pick Logic
With the Golden State Warriors up 2-0 over the wounded Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs (45/1 to win NBA Finals, BetOnline) heading into Saturday's Game 3 (ABC, 8:30 pm ET; GSW -6½, 212, BookMaker) in their best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinals series in these NBA Playoffs and LeBron James and the Cavaliers also undefeated this Postseason and having that little extra bounce heading into Cleveland’s Eastern Conference Finals series and Game 1 on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston against the top-seeded Celtics (33/1 to win NBA Finals, BetOnline), we could be looking at a rubber NBA Finals series to determine who, for now at least, is the dominant franchise in the NBA. And with that Larry O’Brien Trophy will likely come the winner of the NBA Finals MVP and with those odds (+300), that look and a gunner like Kyle Korver to help try to match the Warriors in a potential 3-point-fest Finals, motivated Akron-native James (26.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 8.7 apg) is the pick.
In the 2017 NBA Draft #1 Pick marketplace, it seems the value has been drained for those wanting to back Markelle Fultz (-400, BetOnline), and aiming to battle LeBron and the Cavaliers in the East for years to come, with guards Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, Head Coach Brad Stevens would be better off blending the soon-to-be 19-year-old Fultz (23.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.9 apg) in his young and talented backcourt with Fultz hopefully being able to provide some scoring, enabling Bradley to assume a stronger defensive focus at which he thrives. And reports of Thomas hooping it up last Summer and talking up Fultz lean to the Washington freshman landing in Beantown with perceived #2 pick Lonzo Ball (14.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 7.6 apg)—a Magic Johnson-like West Coast product (Chino Hills High School, UCLA)—fitting in perfectly with new President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson himself and allowing the Lakers to have a long-term centerpiece on which to build around. But maybe the best guy in the long run will go at #3 or #4 to the Philadelphia 76ers or the Phoenix Suns in 6-foot-8 Duke Freshman sensation Jayson Tatum (16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.1 apg) who may very well been oddsmakers top choice in this market had a Foot Injury not stifled his season with the Blue Devils and still a player whom Ainge and Stevens may be taking a very long hard look at.
NBA FINALS MVP PICK: LeBron James 3/1Best Line Offered: at BetOnline