2016 NBA Draft – The Earliest of Early Odds

20150401_MCDAAG_Ben_Simmons_attacks_Caleb_Swanigan_(1)(Full disclosure: we wrote this article before the NBA Draft happened last night, so you will have to excuse our vague references and simply circle the words that apply)

WOW! How about that Draft last night! Minnesota’s number one selection [Karl-Anthony Towns/Jahlil Okafor] sure will be a force for years to come. But what a [questionable/surprising/excellent] first-round pick by the Knicks at No. 4. Or how about that big move by [Sacramento/Boston/Philadelphia/someone else] to trade up in the draft? While it was probably the right move, that city’s fan base sure will miss [DeMarcus Cousins/Marcus Smart/future draft picks], the asset they had to send away to move up those [1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9…] spots.

But with the excitement of the 2015 NBA Draft firmly in the rear-view mirror, why not turn our heads towards next year? While there is no way it could match the [excitement/disappointment/hilarity] of last night’s draft, there is plenty of talent to come off next year’s board, as well.

Today, we’ll handicap who’s most likely to hear his name called first (surprise, freshman head the list!) and which team is most likely to be doing the calling (surprise, Philly heads the list!).

Odds on who will be selected first overall in the 2016 NBA Draft:

  • Ben Simmons, LSU – 7/2
  • Skal Labissiere, Kentucky – 4/1
  • Jaylen Brown, California – 11/2
  • Brandon Ingram, Duke – 7/1
  • Malik Newman, Mississippi St. – 9/1
  • Jamal Murray, Kentucky – 12/1
  • FIELD – 6/1

Simmons, a 6’9″ Australian forward, leads the pack heading into next year’s college season. After declaring for LSU, Simmons will have every chance to prove he’s an NBA-ready talent to go along with the upside scouts see in him.

Labissiere is the top recruit of what should be another strong one-and-done Kentucky class. A seven-footer with great shooting ability, Labissiere, along with the Canadian Murray, will get the NBA makeover from Coach Calipari this year, raising their stock.

Jaylen Brown will go to Cal to star alongside another high-profile recruit in Ivan Prabb, while Newman and Ingram will try to stand out in their respective programs over the course of a long NCAA season.

Odds on which team will hold the first overall pick next year:

  • Philadelphia 76ers – 7/2
  • Minnesota Timberwolves – 4/1
  • Orlando Magic – 6/1
  • Utah Jazz – 6/1
  • New York Knicks – 11/1
  • Sacramento Kings – 11/1
  • Charlotte Hornets – 15/1
  • FIELD – 10/1

The lottery system keeps the top (er, bottom?) teams lumped pretty close together. But the 76ers are going to suck again. Bank on that.

(Photo Credit: TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Boris

Hockey may be a wildly unpopular sport in the U.S., but where no one is paying attention, there’s a ton of value for Boris to mine. An avid NHL fan of over 20 years, Malloy made his first bet against a friend during the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals (going against Ray Bourque) and has been hooked ever since. He has yet to pay off that debt of $2, but he’s made plenty back since. In between worrying about the league’s next lockout, he regularly contributes to MTS and is also fluent in football, basketball, baseball and French (sort of).