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Odds-on Favorites for No. 1 Pick of 2013 NBA Draft

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIApril 16, 2013

Odds-on Favorites for No. 1 Pick of 2013 NBA Draft

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    In less than three months, the next wave of stars will take center stage at the 2013 NBA draft. On that night, we will learn just who will be going where to begin their path to NBA success.

    The question is, which player is going to go first overall?

    We're in a rare predicament in 2013, as there is no consensus favorite for the first overall draft choice. While there have been some question in recent years, we've always had a good idea as to which player scouts are favoring.

    Not in 2013.

    From midseason injuries to NCAA tournament collapses, top prospects have offered cause for concern. With unforeseen greatness and decorated seasons, we've seen the opposite transpire for prospects on the rise.

    So which player will go first overall? Let's play the odds.

Current Draft Lottery Odds

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    Charlotte Bobcats: 22.5 percent

    Orlando Magic: 22.4 percent

    Cleveland Cavaliers: 15.6 percent

    Phoenix Suns: 11.9 percent

    New Orleans Hornets: 8.8 percent

    Sacramento Kings: 6.3 percent

    Detroit Pistons: 3.6 percent

    Washington Wizards: 3.5 percent

    Minnesota Timberwolves: 1.7 percent

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 1.1 percent

    Philadelphia 76ers: 0.8 percent

    Portland Trail Blazers: 0.7 percent

    Dallas Mavericks: 0.6 percent

    Utah Jazz: 0.5 percent

     

    All NBA draft lottery odds are provided by Chad Ford of ESPN Insider.

Nerlens Noel, Kentucky Wildcats

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    Position: Center

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height and Weight: 6'11", 215 pounds, 7'4" wingspan

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.09 PER, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG

     

    On Feb. 12, 2013, Nerlens Noel suffered a gruesome season-ending knee injury while attempting to block a shot in transition. This was both a testament to Noel's tenacity and motor, and a cause for concern due to the severity of his torn left ACL.

    With that being said, Noel suffered the injury during a freak accident—concern over future injuries is hardly a factor here.

    Noel is a dominant interior defender who can alter shots in the half court or defend out of the post. Noel also has the elite athleticism necessary to make plays in transition and step out to the perimeter to take on ball-handlers.

    With a 7'4" wingspan and the frame necessary to add more bulk, Noel could be the next great NBA center.

    The question is, how far will the injury push him down draft boards? Although the term injury-prone isn't applicable, there is reason to choose someone healthy over a big man coming off of knee surgery.

    If he wasn't injured, Noel likely would have been a lock for this pick.

     

    Odds: 43.15 percent

Nerlens Noel's Top Pick Odds Breakdown

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    Charlotte Bobcats: 11.25 percent

    Cleveland Cavaliers: 15.6 percent

    Phoenix Suns: 5.95 percent

    New Orleans Hornets: 4.4 percent

    Washington Wizards: 3.5 percent

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 1.1 percent

    Philadelphia 76ers: 0.4 percent

    Portland Trail Blazers: 0.35 percent

    Dallas Mavericks: 0.6 percent

     

    Total No. 1 Pick Odds: 43.15 percent

Ben McLemore, Kansas Jayhawks

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Freshman

    Height and Weight: 6'5", 195 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.24 PER, 15.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 42.0% 3PT

     

    Once Nerlens Noel went down with a season-ending torn left ACL, Kansas Jayhawks shooting guard Ben McLemore became the consensus choice for the first overall draft choice. As a top-tier shooter with the ability to take it off of the dribble, McLemore was wowing scouts everywhere.

    And then he went a combined 2-for-14 during Kansas' first two 2013 NCAA tournament games.

    McLemore still could go first overall, but his inability to show up under the bright lights is beyond concerning. This alone lessens his chances of becoming the first overall draft choice.

    With that being said, it's become a battle of McLemore's clutch shortcomings and Noel's severe knee injury—pick your poison.

     

    Odds: 26.45 percent

Ben McLemore's Top Pick Odds Breakdown

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    Charlotte Bobcats: 11.25 percent

    Phoenix Suns: 5.95 percent

     Sacramento Kings: 6.3 percent

    Minnesota Timberwolves: 1.7 percent

    Philadelphia 76ers: 0.4 percent

    Portland Trail Blazers: 0.35 percent

    Utah Jazz: 0.5 percent

     

    Total Odds: 26.45 percent

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Position: Guard

    Age: 19

    Class: Freshman

    Height and Weight: 6'4", 225 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.23 PER, 15.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 3.0 SPG

     

    Marcus Smart is a prospect that few have been able to place at one specific position. With that being said, the consensus about Smart is as follows.

    No matter what position he plays, the general feeling is that Smart is going to be special.

    In order for Smart to go first overall, the Orlando Magic would need to win the draft lottery. They're in need of a franchise point guard, as Jameer Nelson has proved to be injury-ridden and is currently 31 years old.

    While Trey Burke could be an option, the Magic are almost certain to go with Smart due to his positional versatility.

    Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan is a product of the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Russell Westbrook has developed into a genuine star. Smart shares numerous traits with Westbrook and is almost certain to catch Hennigan's eye.

    If Orlando goes No. 1, Smart is their pick.

     

    Odds: 22.4 percent

Otto Porter, Georgetown Hoyas

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    Position: Small Forward

    Age: 19

    Class: Sophomore

    Height and Weight: 6'8", 200 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    27.88 PER, 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 42.2% 3PT

     

    Otto Porter has the rare blend of basketball IQ, length, elite defensive prowess, sharpshooting and facilitating abilities. I know that's a lot to take in, but again, it's a rare blend.

    Mainly because Porter does everything well—as much as I hate to use the "E" word.

    With that being said, Porter's lack of elite athleticism is likely to push him towards the bottom of the top five. More specifically, Porter is quite likely to fall out of contention for the first overall draft choice.

    If the New Orleans Hornets earn the top pick, however, it will come down to Porter and Nerlens Noel—hence the split of the Hornets' current lottery odds.

     

    Odds: 4.4 percent

Trey Burke, Michigan Wolverines

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 20

    Class: Sophomore

    Height and Weight: 6'1", 175 pounds

    2012-13 Season Averages

    29.76 PER, 18.6 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG

     

    You may notice that Trey Burke's odds are the same number as the Detroit Pistons' lottery odds. That's no coincidence.

    If the Pistons win the 2013 NBA draft lottery and pick first overall, there is a strong possibility that Burke would be their player.

    In a draft that has been referred to as starless, Burke appears to be one of the few sure things. More importantly, the Pistons are in need of a franchise point guard and Burke is an in-state product that would instantly boost ticket sales.

    The Sacramento Kings could be an option, as they need a point guard just as bad. They also can't afford to gamble on another positionless player in Marcus Smart.

    With that being said, the Kings have more needs than just point guard and could be hesitant to address the 1 with the first overall draft choice—Burke to Detroit or he drops past first.

     

    Odds: 3.6 percent

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