Jabari Smith of Auburn had the best NBA Draft odds to be taken first overall just a day before the event was set to begin on June 23. However, other NBA odds favorites like Paolo Banchero of Duke and Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga are also worthy of that first pick.
Taking into consideration players’ skills and the teams they could fit best with, here are the NBA Draft betting favorites and my NBA mock draft through the first 14 selections.
NBA Draft Odds
|Name||Position||Team||1st Pick Odds (6/22)|
|Jabari Smith Jr.||F||Auburn||-300|
|Dyson Daniels||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|MarJon Beauchamp||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|Jaden Hardy||G||NBA G League Ignite||+50000|
|Nikola Jovic||F||Mega Mozzart (Serbia)||+50000|
|Blake Wesley||G||Notre Dame||+50000|
BetMGM Mock Draft
1. Orlando Magic - Jabari Smith Jr.
Jabari Smith Draft Profile
Smith’s versatility is most impressive. With his height and length, he could be a dream stretch 5 for a team like the Magic.
As proven by his numbers, Smith shoots well from anywhere on the floor. He can shoot off the dribble or spot up from the perimeter.
The Auburn forward used his height to his advantage. He easily located outlets over the top of players double-teaming him. He also could shoot almost anytime he wanted because hardly anyone at the college level could interrupt his release.
That does leave questions about how this translates to the NBA. For example, can he create his own shots when 7-footers are closing out on him?
Smith’s ball handling should provide an answer. He often brought the ball up as needed, even in transition. When defenses tried to prevent him from any perimeter shooting, Smith seemed comfortable driving. And hardly anyone could contest his dunk attempts once he gained speed.
He also shot off crossovers and other dribble moves, so creating space for himself shouldn’t be an issue.
His sharpshooting will create chances for whoever drafts him to space the floor. But he can also operate out of the post or from midrange.
Smith’s dazzling footwork helped him find opportunities for turnaround fadeaways. He also has a hook shot he can turn to.
Despite weighing 220 pounds at his height, Smith is also physical and active on defense. His length and instincts help him swat shots and tip passes.
Smith brings plenty of traits that would fit a first overall selection.
Full Jabari Smith Draft Profile
Jabari Smith Highlights
2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren Draft Profile
At his height and with a wingspan of over 7-3, Holmgren plays above the rim with ease.
He often knows exactly where to position himself when he’s off-ball on offense and defense. With his size and instinct, he seems constantly ready to impact a play. That’s why alley-oops were so common for him in college.
Beyond that, Holmgren is an efficient shooter beyond the paint. He can utilize that on fadeaway jumpers or from the perimeter.
While Holmgren is a capable ball handler who can instigate transition offense, he’s more efficient in catch-and-shoot situations. He won’t create many opportunities for himself off the dribble, but he can fuel an offense while taking the ball up the court during fast breaks.
Holmgren isn’t extremely fast, but he’s athletic enough to thrive in pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pops. At 195 pounds, defenders could push him off his spots, but his tenacity and length helped him protect the rim and finish shots through contact.
With these skills, Holmgren could play at a high level as a modern-day center in the NBA.
Full Chet Holmgren Draft Profile
Chet Holmgren Highlights
3. Houston Rockets - Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero Draft Profile
Banchero’s offensive skill set is electric and versatile.
At 6-foot-10, his shooting prowess immediately stands out. He’s capable of connecting well beyond the 3-point arc and can sink shots both off the dribble and off of passes.
Banchero is also dynamic around the paint. With precise footwork and physicality, he possesses a post-up game which would help him as a pro.
But there’s more to it. Banchero can beat defenders to the hoop with an explosive first step and nifty spin move.
He also makes excellent decisions with the ball, as he’s a proficient passer in traffic. And once he has momentum, he’s acrobatic and creative around the rim. This helps him flush down dazzling dunks, but it should also allow him to translate to the professional level well.
Banchero’s defense is inconsistent. While he’s a capable shot blocker, he’s sometimes late on closeouts and rotations. He has also been defeated in one-on-one situations.
However, that is something Banchero should be capable of tweaking. Overall, he is a thrilling prospect with a strong chance to elevate whichever team he lands on.
Full Paolo Banchero Draft Profile
Paolo Banchero Highlights
4. Sacramento Kings - Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey Draft Profile
Ivey’s speed is clear immediately when watching him play.
His Ja Morant-esque explosiveness allows him to slice through defenses in a moment’s notice. Even with a little momentum, Ivey can dunk on opponents with ease.
He’s also creative in using leverage to find lanes to the hoop. Additionally, he can shoot in traffic and on the move, either from deep or in the paint.
Ivey is a precise passer. With solid awareness, he can find teammates for open looks as he’s driving or take advantage of distracted defenders with backdoor cuts when he’s off the ball.
Defensively, he’s inconsistent but crafty. He finds ways to force turnovers or disrupt offenses, even when his assignment is away from the play.
While he’s shown impressive ball handling at times, equipped with a crossover and juke step that can fool defenders, he’s also unpredictable. With his style of play, he can get ahead of himself sometimes, leading to turnovers.
Ultimately, Ivey has proven he possesses enormous upside and is worthy of a top-five selection.
Full Jaden Ivey Draft Profile
Jaden Ivey Highlights
5. Detroit Pistons - Shaedon Sharpe
Shaedon Sharpe Draft Profile
With a vertical of at least 40 inches, and likely even more, Sharpe often takes advantage with scores on dunks and layups.
Sharpe is athletic, but he’s also acrobatic. With a soft touch on his shots, he finds unique ways to rise up to the air and score despite defense’s dedicating a great amount of focus on him.
Sharpe has compared his game to and emulates Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. That becomes clear with Sharpe’s dribble moves.
He can use a crossover to gain separation and get a shot off, though he can make shots with close defense anyway. He can also hit shots from deep ranges, making him especially difficult to defend considering his knack for reaching the paint and dunking on opponents.
At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Sharpe seems to project at either a shooting guard or small forward. Pro offenses could benefit from his talents at either of those spots.
The question remains how well those talents will translate to the NBA.
Full Shaedon Sharpe Draft Profile
Shaedon Sharpe Highlights
6. Indiana Pacers - Keegan Murray
Keegan Murray Draft Profile
Whether he’s driving or shooting, Murray is thrilling to watch. His movements are chaotic, but to be sure, that’s not necessarily a weakness. If anything, it ensures he’s more challenging to defend.
The forward can get his shot off the dribble or spotting up. He consistently sinks shots from deep in pressure situations. He proved that when he broke a tie with a 3-pointer less than two minutes to go against Indiana during the Big Ten Tournament.
At 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, he can back down many players in the post and will take advantage with a dependable fade away or drop step.
When he’s driving, he’s a bruiser. His court vision is excellent, which leads to chances for him to drive into the paint for open passes or dunks. And because teams must respect that, his stepback is even more difficult to defend.
He’s also imposing on defense. He’s timely in how he pokes away passes or shots. He can defend almost anyone as well.
This skill set will make him valuable for NBA teams. Competent dribbling with both hands, he can bring the ball up or post up, leading to a rare positional versatility.
Murray has had his fair share of less-than-stellar moments. He’s gone from cashing 3s to air balling floaters, locking down guards, and watching them whiz by.
But he’s still young. These mistakes may become rare in the right situation.
Full Keegan Murray Draft Profile
Keegan Murray Highlights
7. Portland Trail Blazers - AJ Griffin
AJ Griffin Draft Profile
Griffin is a threat to hit shots from anywhere on the floor.
He’s a masterful set shooter, always ready for a pass wherever it may come from. He’s smart in how he relocates and spaces the floor. He can also connect off the dribble, especially from midrange.
Griffin can sink attempts even with defenders on him with a fluid release. He can also create space for himself with an excellent jab step and shot fake in his arsenal.
While posted up, he can drain fadeaways. And at 6-foot-6, 222 pounds, he’s tough to stop on drives. But, when he attacks, he’s smooth and under control. He’s also poised and intuitive in how he cuts and positions himself within an offense.
Griffin’s physicality and length help him contest shots. However, an overall lack of speed led to others passing by him at times.
And while he can create his own scoring chances, he probably won’t be a designated playmaker at the pro level. On an NBA team, he’ll likely be more comparable to Klay Thompson than Stephen Curry.
But obviously, Thompson is an incredibly valuable part of the Golden State Warriors. And Griffin can positively impact a franchise in his own right.
Full AJ Griffin Draft Profile
AJ Griffin Highlights
8. New Orleans Pelicans - Jalen Duren
Jalen Duren Draft Profile
Duren made his presence known against Holmgren in that matchup with the Zags. The Memphis freshman was more physical, a common theme of the season.
Duren is strong and dominates the paint. But, for anyone, moving him on box-outs or in the post is near impossible.
That’s why dunks and putbacks happened so often for him. And with his power, he seemingly could rip the rim off the backboard on nearly every dunk.
Around the hoop, Duren uses his wingspan of over 7-5 to his advantage, especially on drop steps. But he’s also smart and knows how to find open space for those alley-oops. His court vision also helps him as a passer, though he could better his accuracy in that area.
Duren is exceptional for a big man in transition. Though he can play like a traditional center, his mobility helps him on cuts, drives and fast breaks.
Defensively, Duren’s height and vertical make shooting over him perplexing. And, usually, trying simply results in emphatic blocks. But, likewise, contesting Duren’s shots is a challenge, and he’s capable of sinking them from midrange when he’s open.
Duren could expand his repertoire of post moves, especially if he spends ample time around the block as a pro.
Duren isn’t the shooter that other centers like Holmgren are. But he absolutely has the potential to become an impactful one in the NBA.
Full Jalen Duren Draft Profile
Jalen Duren Highlights
9. San Antonio Spurs - Dyson Daniels
Dyson Daniels Draft Profile
NBA G League Ignite guard
Quickness is a common theme in Daniels’ game.
His first step on drives can probably help him go past NBA defenders like it did in the G League. This helps him reach the rim for dunks or in transition.
When he does drive, his floater is consistent. But while he can thrive under pressure and has a fast release, his outside shot could connect more consistently as proven by his percentages in the G League.
Daniels is a smart passer. He anticipates well in fast breaks. He can find teammates on cuts to the hoop or when he’s double-teamed, as he can deliver the ball from many angles.
It’s clear Daniels relishes blocking shots, and his explosiveness helps him dunk on putbacks on the other end. Moreover, he’s a defender capable of limiting opponents at multiple positions.
However, he does cough up turnovers that he shouldn’t. If he hopes to succeed in the NBA, this will likely need to improve.
But overall, Daniels should have a bright future ahead of him.
Full Dyson Daniels Draft Profile
Dyson Daniels Highlights
10. Washington Wizards - Johnny Davis
Johnny Davis Draft Profile
Davis was deserving of that recognition. He was dominant at the collegiate level.
Davis’ defense sets him apart. He constantly hustles, which leads to spectacular blocks. He effectively sheds screens as well.
The ability to finish shots through contact, as he did in the NCAA Tournament, is among Davis’ strongest. He converted several and-ones this past season.
Around the paint, Davis is a creative shooter. He can sometimes use shot fakes, spin moves and fadeaways in the same sequence.
Davis is intuitive. He constantly finds locations on cuts and around the perimeter that lead to open shots. He also commonly capitalized on transition chances.
He can also score from deep, including at an NBA range. He can create space for himself and pull up, but he was best as a set shooter.
Davis can be erratic at times. He can be so determined to reach the paint that he can leave himself in awkward situations or force errant shots.
However, Davis will have an opportunity to improve. If he does, he’ll be exciting to watch at the professional level.
Full Johnny Davis Draft Profile
Johnny Davis Highlights
11. New York Knicks - Bennedict Mathurin
Bennedict Mathurin Draft Profile
Whether on defense or offense, whether he has the ball in his hands or is away from the play, Mathurin’s hustle is evident.
He’s an aggressive scorer who often plays above the rim, though that may not always be easy in the NBA at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds. But in college, he pulled off a great number of alley-oop dunks.
With his high-level acceleration, he can attack the rim in a hurry. Many of his best plays were in transition, so whichever team he goes to should maximize that skill.
He’s fast, but he wasn’t always in control, especially while dribbling with his left hand. That is something that can be fixed in the NBA.
The guard is smart and timely with backdoor cuts which can lead to easy buckets. He averaged 1.3 offensive boards in his college career, illustrating his desire to earn his team extra scoring chances.
Mathurin can hit midrange shots on the run and off-balance. However, he was best spotting up, especially when running off screens on plays designed for him.
Though he likely won’t be suited to play point guard, he’s an accurate passer. He can deliver the ball in pinpoint locations which helps his teammates score in the paint or shoot in rhythm.
Mathurin’s effort shows on defense, too, as he made some highlight-type blocks on multiple occasions. However, he could still learn to make an impact more often on that end.
Mathurin’s skill set should help him stand out in the NBA.
Full Bennedict Mathurin Draft Profile
Bennedict Mathurin Highlights
12. Oklahoma City Thunder - TyTy Washington
TyTy Washington Draft Profile
Washington would bring energy to an NBA offense with highlight passing and speed.
Though he’s not the tallest NBA hopeful, the 6-foot-3 guard is a creative passer who often thinks one step ahead of his opponent. He doesn’t waste movement with precise footwork and keeps defenders guessing where he’ll go next.
Washington is an effective shooter, especially off of passes and screens. But he also can turn to his step-back and behind-the-back dribble move to gain separation.
He can get a shot off in an instant. This helps him connect from even well beyond the arc, but it also means he can sink shots from the paint on drives and fast breaks. On midrange floaters, he can shoot off-balance and on the run.
An excellent ball handler, Washington should at least find a place as a play-creating point guard in the NBA. He should have little issue carving out a role among professionals.
Full TyTy Washington Draft Profile
TyTy Washington Highlights
13. Charlotte Hornets - Tari Eason
Tari Eason Draft Profile
Eason made most of his impact by driving to the hoop and rebounding.
He’s instinctive when trying to corral boards. And in the paint, he’s an impressive shot blocker, especially in transition.
Defense is one way Eason can more easily acclimate to the NBA. And as proven by him playing off the bench at LSU, he’s willing to accept whatever role is assigned to him.
With fantastic agility, he times up his steal attempts well and disrupts the flow of opposing offenses.
Full Tari Eason Draft Profile
Tari Eason Highlights
14. Cleveland Cavaliers - Ochai Agbaji
Ochai Agbaji Draft Profile
Agbaji threw down some emphatic alley-oop dunks during his collegiate career. But his repertoire goes well beyond that. He proved this during his fantastic run through last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Agbaji is not overly fast, which doesn’t help him on offense or defense. But he makes up for that in other ways.
When driving, he varies his pace to keep defenders on their heels. He’s also physical, especially when going to the hoop.
He’s constantly active off the ball, with backdoor cuts offensively or when he’s playing help defense on the other end.
Agbaji can shoot off the dribble or off the pass, and he hits attempts from NBA range. However, he’s often in a rhythm when he makes shots, so pros may force him out of his comfort zone a little more.
While he plays with textbook technique defensively, his lack of top-end speed meant he was sometimes vulnerable. However, he could also consistently handle the ball more precisely to avoid turnovers.
However, in totality, Agbaji should provide a boost for any NBA franchise.
Full Ochai Agbaji Draft Profile
Ochai Agbaji Highlights
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