Now that the 2016-17 NBA season is in the books with the Golden State Warriors as champions, it’s time to look toward the draft, which is June 22 in Brooklyn. Let’s address some props on blue-blood programs Kentucky & UCLA.
The two marquee programs in NCAA basketball are UCLA and Kentucky as they have combined for 19 national titles. The Bruins lead with 11 of them, last in 1995, and the Wildcats have eight, most recently in 2012. Kentucky is one of the early +900 favorites to win another next season, but we’ll talk 2017-18 NCAA basketball later this summer.
The 2016-17 NBA season ended June 12 with the Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to win their second title in three years – and they are heavy -150 favorites to repeat in 2018. While the fans might still be celebrating in the Bay area, it is already time to look to next season with the 2017 draft on June 22 from Brooklyn.
5Dimes has some interesting draft props posted on UCLA and Kentucky, with I’m sure more to come. You can bet which school has more first-round picks, with UK at -155 and UCLA +125. Alas, I think that might end in a draw. Barring something unforeseen happening off-the-court, both are likely to have three of them.
Kentucky freshman guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are going to be lottery picks. Fox could go as high as No. 2 overall to the Lakers. The Sacramento Kings are known to love him and could trade their two lottery picks to move up to No. 2 and ensure they get Fox. Pretty much every NBA mock draft also has UK freshman forward Bam Adebayo going somewhere in the 20s.
As for UCLA, freshman point guard Lonzo Ball is going to be a Top-5 pick. Everyone knows that he and his loudmouth father want Lonzo to play only for the hometown Lakers. However, Ball apparently wasn’t overly impressive in a recent workout with the team, even out of shape a bit, and the Lakers aren’t 100 percent sold yet. They will also work out Fox, who absolutely dominated Ball in Kentucky’s 86-75 win over UCLA in this past season’s Sweet 16.
Two other Bruins freshmen are also expected to be first-round picks: forward TJ Leaf and center Ike Anigbogu. The latter is all about potential because he played only 13 minutes a game last season and averaged 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds.
There’s also a prop on total Kentucky players drafted overall at 3.5, with the over a -245 favorite. There’s those three guys I mentioned, with center Isaac Humphries a good candidate to be chosen in the second round and guard Isaiah Briscoe a fringe second-rounder.
Finally, there’s a prop on total UCLA players selected (-240) vs. total Oregon players (+180). The Bruins only have those three projected first-rounders. Oregon lost its four-best players off last year’s Pac-12 champions in Jordan Bell, Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey and Chris Boucher. The only one with a first-round chance is Bell, but the other three could be second-rounders. I might lean Oregon there, although we could be looking at another draw.Free NBA Pick: UK ‘Over’ 3.5 Total Players (-245)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes