NBA Draft Deadline: Odds Impact of Decision Day

Yesterday was the deadline for college players to officially decide whether to enter their names into the 2017 NBA Draft. For people like me, the import of that is two-fold. From the pro perspective, we know who to include in our final mock drafts. From the college perspective, we basically know what rosters will look like when the season tips in mid November.

Today we’re focusing on the latter: which teams saw their stock rise and fall the most on deadline-day, and how has it affected their odds for 2017-18?

(Want some pro-style odds? Check out our latest NBA Draft and 2017 title odds.)



North Carolina Tar Heels

Overall Status: Loser

Key Departures: F Tony Bradley

Key Returnees: N/A

Odds to win the ACC: 5/2

Tony Bradley was the best NBA prospect still on the fence heading into decision day. Roy Williams will still have Joel Berry, Theo Pinson, and Elite Eight hero Luke Maye, plus an incoming five-star point guard in Jalek Felton. Doubt this team at your own risk. Roy has figured out a way to win with veteran talent. Case in points: two straight ACC championships, two straight national championship games.

But winning three straight ACC titles is a massive ask. This is the deepest league in the nation, and Duke, Louisville, Miami, and Notre Dame will all fancy themselves contenders, to varying degrees.

Purdue Boilermakers

Overall Status: Loser

Key Departures: F Caleb Swanigan

Key Returnees: F Isaac Haas, F Vince Edwards

Odds to win the Big Ten: 12/1

The Boilermakers should still be a tournament team without “Biggie” Swanigan. Isaac Haas has the potential to be dominant if he ever figures out how to rebound like the seven-footer that he is. The odds are long here, though, because Michigan State is poised to be a top-five team nationally. Sparty got its good news early when Miles Bridges opted to return back in April. Plus the Gophers are on the rise, Northwestern is going to be a tough out, and Indiana is Indiana.

There’s also the following team to worry about …

Michigan Wolverines

Overall Status: Loser

Key Departures: F DJ Wilson

Key Returnees: F Mo Wagner

Odds to win the Big Ten: 12/1

Two key Wolverines were undecided — forwards DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner — and John Beilein will be happy to at least get one back. He’d probably have rathered Wilson, but Wagner will be a great weapon for the offensive-minded coach. With Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman also returning and Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews joining the team, the Wolverines should be able to score again. (Beilein teams always can.) Whether they can generate any stops is a big question mark.

John Beilein coaching Michigan
John Beilein coaching Michigan. Photo: Adam Glanzman (flickr) []

Kentucky Wildcats

Overall Status: Winner

Key Departures: N/A

Key Returnees: G Hamidou Diallo

Odds to win the SEC: 2/1

Though he never played a single game for Kentucky, Hamidou Diallo (who redshirted last year after joining the team mid-season) was almost guaranteed to be a first-rounder if he left his name in the 2017 NBA Draft. That’s the kind of clout you have when you post the second-best vertical in the history of the NBA combine. They kid is an absolute physical freak who has the potential to dominate all but the best college athletes. John Calipari will have to figure out how to win with youth, of course, as he lost Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Brisco, Bam Adebayo, and Derek Willis.

Wait, did I say “figure out.” I should have said, “remember how.” Relying on freshman is nothing new for Cal, and he has another ridiculous crop to work with: SF Kevin Knox (no. 9 on the ESPN Top 100), PF PJ Washington (no. 11), C Nick Richards (no. 16), PF Jarred Vanderbilt (no. 18), PG Quade Green (no. 23). Frighteningly, the list goes on.

Throw Diallo into that mix and you have a roster as talented as any. But they won’t run away with the SEC; they’ll need some time to coalesce, and Florida will be strong again. Also keep an eye on freshman-dependent Missouri and Avery Johnson’s rebuild at Alabama.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Overall Status: Winner

Key Departures: N/A 

Key Returnees: F Jonathan Williams

Odds to win the WCC: 4/5

Finally some good news for the national runners-up: forward Jonathan Williams is returning to Spokane, slightly attenuating the sting from losing Nigel Williams-Goss, Zach Collins, Przemek Karnowski, and Jordan Mathews. Mark Few was able to turn a talented roster of newcomers into arguably the best team in the nation this year. The ceiling isn’t as high with this year’s roster, but Few will still have to generate chemistry where little exists at the moment, given that the team will have at least three new starters (everyone but Williams and PG Josh Perkins).

They should still be the favorite in the WCC, though, not just because they’ve won five straight WCC tournaments and (at least a share of) six straight regular season titles, but because there’s still ample talent outside of Williams and Perkins. Silas Melson is an elite wing defender and solid three-point shooter; Killian Tillie has NBA potential at the four; and Rui Hachimura can do things like this:



Alexander is the MTS editor-in-chief. Frank, Alex, and Geoff brought him in when they realized that their betting expertise far surpassed their grammatical abilities. He loves overanalyzing college basketball trends. Talking to him during the first weekend of March Madness is like talking to a wall. A very focused wall, but a wall nonetheless.

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