AJ Griffin: NBA Draft Odds, Pick Projection, Stats & Highlights

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Duke forward A.J. Griffin (21) dribbles against Elon during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., on Dec. 18, 2021. Griffin is a lottery prospect and one of the top wings in this year's NBA draft.
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Colton Pool @CPoolReporter Sep 07, 2022, 8:17 AM

Patiently and purposefully, AJ Griffin shifted around the perimeter in case he was needed.

The Duke forward, who has +25000 NBA odds to be drafted first overall, sat in the corner as his teammate, Paolo Banchero, drove from the top of the key. The Blue Devils trailed Texas Tech by three points midway through the second half during the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.

As Banchero made his way to the hoop, Griffin moved toward the wing, hoping he would be seen for an outlet pass. Instead, defenders surrounded Banchero as he spun and rose up in the air.

That cleared the way for a pass out to Griffin. He used a juke step to gain the slightest bit of separation from an opponent, and it was all he needed to let a 3-pointer fly with five seconds left on the shot clock.

Nothing but net. The game was tied.

Griffin can provide an NBA team with pivotal contributions like this if given a chance.

AJ Griffin Draft Odds

Griffin is tied for the sixth-best NBA Draft odds to be selected first overall at +25000Jabari Smith of Auburn is first at -165, while Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren is second at +115 and Banchero is third at +1500.

The Orlando Magic have the first overall pick after going 22-60 a year ago. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets pick second and third, respectively.

NamePositionTeam1st Pick Odds (6/22)
Jabari Smith Jr.FAuburn-300
Paolo BancheroFDuke+275
Chet HolmgrenCGonzaga+400
Shaedon SharpeGKentucky+10000
Jaden IveyGPurdue+20000
Keegan MurrayFIowa+25000
AJ GriffinFDuke+25000
Johnny DavisGWisconsin+25000
Jalen DurenCMemphis+25000
Bennedict MathurinGArizona+25000
Ochai AgbajiGKansas+25000
TyTy WashingtonGKentucky+50000
Dyson DanielsGNBA G League Ignite+50000
MarJon BeauchampGNBA G League Ignite+50000
Tari EasonFLSU+50000
Jaden HardyGNBA G League Ignite+50000
Nikola JovicFMega Mozzart (Serbia)+50000
Blake WesleyGNotre Dame+50000

AJ Griffin Draft Pick Projection

With the seventh pick, the Portland Trail Blazers are a team that makes sense for Griffin.

A season ago, Portland was 27th in offensive rating, 29th in defensive rating, 25th in effective field goal percentage and last in net rating and player impact estimate. Despite having an All-Star like Damian Lillard, the Trail Blazers need help in several ways.

Among the players likely available with the seventh overall pick, Griffin has the most upside to provide that assistance. With Lillard and other veterans like Eric Bledsoe, Anfernee Simons and Joe Ingles on the roster, the Trail Blazers may be trying to make a run at the playoffs more immediately than others picking in the top 10.

Griffin’s skill set would help him translate to the NBA more quickly than most. He also has a chance to replace at least some of the scoring production, especially from 3-point range, that was missing after Portland traded away CJ McCollum.

AJ Griffin Stats

In his lone season at Duke, Griffin was an All-ACC honorable mention and on the conference’s all-freshman squad.

While working his way back from a preseason knee injury, Griffin started 25 of 39 games and averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Those numbers picked up to 12.6 and 4.5 against ACC opponents.

Griffin shot 49% from the field and 44.7% from 3-point range, the fifth all-time mark at Duke and second by a freshman.

Griffin especially shined in the Blue Devils’ rivalry game against North Carolina. He totaled a career-best 27 points, which tied for fourth in the program’s record books for a player making a debut in that matchup. Three weeks later, he notched career highs of 7-for-11 shooting and 6-for-10 from deep against Syracuse.

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.

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About the Author

Colton Pool

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Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.

Colton Pool is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM living in Bozeman, Montana, focusing on the NFL and NBA. Previously, he covered Montana State football at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and worked at newspapers in his home state of North Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota State in 2015.