NBA Draft 2019: Odds and Mock Projections for 1st Round

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

NEW YORK - JUNE 19: NBA Draft Prospect, Zion Williamson poses for portraits during media availability and circuit as part of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 19, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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NBA draft prospects aren't the only ones who could have a financially fortunate Thursday evening.

Gamblers also have a chance to make some coin during the Association's annual talent grab.

While the first three selections each have a prohibitive favorite—Zion Williamson is a -10000 lock at No. 1, per VegasInsider—the draft board opens considerably at No. 4. With oddsmakers laying -200 odds on the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans moving the selection, the possibilities at that pick are almost endless.

After laying out our latest mock first round, we'll take a closer look at three compelling NBA draft odds.


2019 NBA Mock Draft

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, PF/C, Duke

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, SG/SF, Duke

4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers): Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

6. Phoenix Suns: De'Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

8. Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

9. Washington Wizards: Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France

12. Charlotte Hornets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

13. Miami Heat: Nassir Little, SF/PF, North Carolina

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings): Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

15. Detroit Pistons: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

16. Orlando Magic: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

17. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets): PJ Washington, PF/C, Kentucky

18. Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

19. San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia

20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

22. Boston Celtics: Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State

23. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz): Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Luka Samanic, PF, Croatia

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn

28. Golden State Warriors: Nicolas Claxton, PF/C, Georgia

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors): KZ Okpala, SF/PF, Stanford

30. Detroit Pistons (via Milwaukee Bucks): Ty Jerome, PG/SG, Virginia


Will the New Orleans Pelicans Trade the No. 4 Pick?

Yes -200

No +150

It's no surprise to see oddsmakers assessing another deal with the fourth pick as being more likely than not. The possibility was raised as soon as news of the Brow blockbuster broke, and there are reportedly no shortage of teams interested in the selection:

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

Source: The Atlanta Hawks have been aggressive exploring trades packaging the No. 8 and 10 picks to move up in the draft. Their offer to the Knicks for the No. 3 pick was apparently rebuffed. The Pelicans are considering the possibility of trading the No. 4 pick for 8+10.

Fletcher Mackel @FletcherWDSU

NBA source: Pelicans could trade #4 pick in 2019 @nba draft for #6 pick (Suns) or #7 pick (Bulls) and acquire a 2020 protected 1st round selection from Phoenix or Chicago. Suns/Bulls both strong interest in Darius Garland. Deal similar to Dallas/ATL 2018 Doncic draft trade. https://t.co/RLTh5ph5md

While our trade-free mock has Jarrett Culver landing in New Orleans at this spot, the do-it-all swingman is by no means the consensus choice as the draft's fourth-best prospect. In fact, that distinction more likely sits with our fifth overall pick, Darius Garland, an effortless shot-creator with the highly coveted ability of being able to pump in perimeter shots off the dribble.

The reason we don't have Garland going to the Big Easy is simple; between Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans appear set in the backcourt. That's also the reason New Orleans likely moves out of this spot, most likely moving down a few picks while adding either future draft assets or perhaps an established player.

The trickier task is figuring out which team will land the pick. Luckily, that's not what wagerers need to deduce to win this bet.


Which Player Will Be Drafted 4th Overall?

Jarrett Culver +110

De'Andre Hunter +120

Darius Garland +180

RJ Barrett +700

Coby White +2500

Field +3300

No disrespect to Culver or De'Andre Hunter—who went head-to-head in the national title game, you may recall—but these odds feel off. If you think, like we do, that New Orleans is moving this pick, then Garland is the most logical choice.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony says the Timberwolves, Celtics and Bulls are all considering a climb up to No. 4 "with Garland in mind."

Had New Orleans already moved this selection, Garland might be the runaway favorite. Since it hasn't, that adds some extra wrinkles. Both Culver and Hunter, a potential three-and-D ace, are much more natural fits for the Pelicans than the Vanderbilt point guard would be.

But that's an awful lot of trade smoke for this not to catch fire. By the way, don't waste your hard-earned cash on Barrett here. Although the Knicks worked out Garland on Wednesday, they are "locked on" the Duke star at No. 3, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.


When Will Bol Bol Be Drafted?

Over 19.5 (-125)

Under 19.5 (-115)

This. Is. Fascinating. Much like the prospect himself.

On one hand, you think how could a 7'2" center with handles and a trusty three-point stroke (13-of-25 over nine games at Oregon) ever last beyond 19 picks? On the other, you wonder how a 7-footer coming off a foot fracture and with a frail frame could go inside the top 20.

If it wasn't a cop-out, we'd dub this too close to call. Both Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman and ESPN's Jonathan Giovny have Bol Bol slotted 20th overall to the Celtics. He's 24th on our mock, but we could easily see him going 10 spots higher.

The red flags are real, and they're potentially problematic. But the possible reward is immense. Despite what our mock says, we might take the under, as it's easy to imagine at least one executive being blinded by Bol's upside.