Without the clear-cut talent of past drafts, this year’s NBA Draft has been more difficult for analysts and teams to project. And because of the pandemic, normal draft procedures such as the combine or in-person workouts have led to less availability for teams to scout as many players as it has in years past.
In Michigan, the uncertainty has led to debate about who is going No. 1 and has trickled down through the rest of the lottery, including at No. 7 where the Detroit Pistons are set to pick Wednesday. The Pistons are a team in a rebuilding mode, which gives them the option to trade up for a perennial prospect or trade down to gain assets such as more draft picks.
But if the Pistons do decide to stay put, mock drafts and sportsbooks currently are aligned on a couple names: France’s Killian Hayes and Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton.
Those looking to bet on the NBA Draft will have to do so at a tribal casino. The Michigan Gaming Control Board does not allow betting on the NBA Draft, meaning Detroit’s three commercial casinos can’t take any action on the event.
Tribal casinos may allow betting on the draft, but it’s up to their discretion if they choose to. BetAmerica, which has a partnership with the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, is offering odds on who will be the first overall pick. Point guard LaMelo Ball is the listed favorite at -160, while Georgia’s Anthony Edwards (+100) and Memphis’ James Wiseman (+800) are the other top candidates to go No. 1.
Sportsbooks currently don’t have any props on the No. 7 pick. To get an idea on potential draft candidates for the Pistons, bettors have to take a look at each draft prospect’s player draft position prop.
Two players, France’s Killian Hayes and Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, currently have their draft propositions listed at 7.5 on DraftKings. The under for Hayes is at +160, while Haliburton has more favorable odds to land in the top seven at -155.
The Detroit Free Press has Hayes going to the Pistons in its latest mock draft. The 6-foot-5 point guard has been training with former Piston Will Bynum and is friends with fellow Frenchman, Sekou Doumbouya, who is a forward for the Pistons.
“He has size and the type of shot creation upside that has separated the NBA’s great point guards from its good ones in recent seasons,” the Free Press said. “He’s a great passer who thrives in the pick-and-roll, though he’s significantly better with his left hand than his right.”
Haliburton is another 6-foot-5 point guard who college basketball fans may be familiar with. In his sophomore year at Iowa State, he averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was efficient in leading the Cyclones’ offense with a 4.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
Dayton’s Obi Toppin is -250 at over 4.5, while Israeli teenager Deni Avdija is -110 to be drafted fifth or higher, also putting him in range of the Pistons.
Big Ten props
Michigan State fans who want to take a flyer on past Spartans this draft may do so at DraftKings. Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman are both +100000 to go No. 1 and have the same value to be chosen No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4.
DraftKings also has a special Big Ten conference prop with the number of players from the Big Ten drafted in the first round. Currently, over 1.5 players to be drafted from the Big Ten in the opening round is +260, while the under is at -335.
The Free Press projects Xavier Tillman going No. 22 to the Houston Rockets in its latest mock draft. Sports Illustrated has Tillman and Winston going in the first round, with Winston selected by the Toronto Raptors at No. 29 and Tillman chosen by the Boston Celtics at No. 30.