By Charles Jay
It is safe to say that there were a couple of surprises, at the very least, in the NBA Draft, and some of them happened early on. Naturally the teams drafting near the top had immediate needs that they believe these top college and/or international players can meet. You will have some clunkers, no doubt, but the lottery teams hope that they can hit it big.
BetAnySports customers know that there was no surprise with the top choice of Karl-Anthony Towns, who played one season at Kentucky and is considered to be a player who can get it done at both ends of the floor, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are hopeful that he can fill the vacuum that was left when Kevin Love was traded to Cleveland.
They are developing a good core of talent in Minneapolis, as they now have three different #1 overall selections, with Towns joining Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. Obviously there are several other young standout players, including Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LeVine, and let’s not forget that Tyus Jones, the #24 selection, was picked up in a trade. The question is whether all of these players can mesh as a team. It is probably very significant that Towns looks like he can handle his weight as a defender in the NBA, because the other alternative at center, Jahlil Okafor of Duke, has met with some criticism along those lines. However, while Towns is priced at +625 to win the Rookie of the Year award by the people at BetAnySports, Okafor is actually the favorite at +525.
The Philadelphia 76ers would probably like to have had the opportunity to draft D’Angelo Russell, the shooting guard out of Ohio State, but Russell was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second pick, in what may be of surprise to many. Russell is being hailed as someone who can step right into the lineup alongside Kobe Bryant and have an impact right away. The Lakers are likely to be very active before this free-agent period ends, and with this addition, along with Bryant and Julius Randle (last year’s first-round pick) coming back from injury, there could be a quick rise for the franchise that is suddenly the “other” team in LA. Russell is the second favorite to capture the rookie award at BetAnySports, priced at +600.
Let’s not forget about Joel Embiid, who was taken in last year’s draft by Philadelphia but didn’t play. He is listed among the rookies at +1000, and he has the potential to be a defensive force. The problem is that where not sure there will be enough playing time for him, with the presence of Nerlens Noel and of course the drafting of Okafor.
The Charlotte Hornets refused to trade the ninth pick in the draft, even though they reportedly had an offer of six draft picks from the Boston Celtics. That must be how much they must like Frank Kaminsky, the big man from Wisconsin who may be one of those guys who is more “NBA-ready” than some of the others. A lot of the scouts don’t consider him to be a guy with a tremendous amount of upside, but he is certainly a player who can go out to the perimeter and make shots, which might create more room for Al Jefferson on the inside. Kaminsky is currently priced at +2500 in the rookie derby at BetAnySports, where you can partake in a lot of NBA futures, along with great baseball wagering and NFL futures right now.
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