Free NBA Pick: Knicks
Recommended Sportsbook: BetOnline
Well, wasn’t that an interesting NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night from Chicago? The league flattened out the odds at the top this year, giving the teams with the three worst records (Knicks, Suns and Cavaliers) and equal 14 percent chance of winning the lottery.
None did. In fact, three teams jumped into the Top 4: The New Orleans Pelicans parlayed just a six percent chance of winning the lottery into the No. 1 overall pick; the Memphis Grizzlies jumped to No. 2 and the Los Angeles Lakers all the way up to No. 4. The Knicks were the only team among the three worst to stay in the Top 3 as they will pick third in next month’s draft.
There’s zero drama about whom the Pelicans are going to choose at No. 1: Duke superstar freshman Zion Williamson. It’s the first time the Pelicans will pick first since winning the 2012 lottery and selecting Kentucky superstar freshman Anthony Davis. Williamson is considered by many the best NBA prospect since Davis. Those two would fit each other perfectly on the court.
Except, Davis of course demanded a trade last season and essentially quit on the franchise. Might the fact the Pelicans now will have Williamson change Davis’ mind? Reports are no, he still wants out. New Pelicans GM David Griffin will surely try his best, but it seems like Davis will be a goner this summer.
Bookmaker.eu has updated odds on where Davis is playing next season, and the Lakers remain the favorites at +170. That they jumped up to the No. 4 overall spot will only boost any trade package. They could offer that along with some combination of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma to pair Davis with LeBron James. The Lakers essentially offered everyone on the team but James last February but the Pelicans smartly waited. No question that the Lakers were big winners in the draft lottery.
The Boston Celtics are +216 to be Davis’ team to start the 2019-20 season. Boston wasn’t able to parlay a long-shot lottery chance into a Top 3 pick but currently has three first-round picks: No. 14 (from Kings), 20 (from Clippers via Grizzlies) and 22 (their own). Plus, the Celtics still have a future Grizzlies first-rounder that could be mega-valuable. And they also might be willing to trade Jayson Tatum in any deal for Davis, and Tatum is better than anyone the Lakers can offer.
That Davis is still a Pelican to open the 2019-20 season is +373. That Griffin keeps Davis isn’t out of the realm of possibility as he could still deal him during next season – seems unlikely, though, if Davis is firm in his demands.
The remaining betting options are the field at +343, the New York Knicks at +642 and the Philadelphia 76ers at +4903. The Knicks allegedly were ready to package the top overall pick if they won it to New Orleans for Davis. How bad do the Pels want that third pick and other pieces? Williamson’s Duke teammate, RJ Barrett, is expected to be available at No. 3. The Knicks could also throw in last year’s No. 9 overall pick Kevin Knox and another piece or two.
It’s important to note that as of now Davis has said he would only immediately re-sign with two franchises: the Lakers and the Knicks.