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Updated Odds to Be Picked #1 Overall in 2020 NBA Draft

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Nov 16, 2020 · 6:17 AM PST

Anthony Edwards
Is Anthony Edwards still a lock to go #1 overall in the 2020 Draft? Photo from Gamecock Central (Wiki Commons)
  • The 2020 NBA Draft is a couple of days away, and LaMelo Ball is the favorite to be selected first overall
  • Ball is followed by Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman, who appear to have distanced themselves as the top three prospects
  • See all players with odds to go in the top spot within the story below

The delayed 2020 NBA Draft takes place on Wednesday, November 18th. NBA front offices and draft analysts have had less information than usual to work on, but they’ve had more time than ever to speculate. Rumors have swirled about trades, teams have set smoke screens, ahead of a draft unlike any other, a draft which is truly unpredictable.

The current 2020 NBA Draft odds have LaMelo Ball as the odds-on favorite to be selected first overall. As recently as November 10th, Anthony Edwards was the strong favorite to go first. Edwards has topped the odds for much of the draft process, but he has slipped to +155 with Ball moving in to -215.

Check out the table below for the latest odds on the first overall pick in Wednesday’s draft.

Odds to Be #1 Overall Pick in 2020 NBA Draft

Player Odds
LaMelo Ball -215
Anthony Edwards +155
James Wiseman +545
Deni Avdija +20000
Obi Toppin +20000
Killian Hayes +30000
Onyeka Okongwu +30000
Cole Anthony +50000
RJ Hampton +50000
Tyrese Haliburton +50000
Isaac Okoro +50000

Odds taken from DraftKings on November 16th

Increased Support for LaMelo

Ball has been a divisive prospect. There’s no consensus number one pick in this draft, and many analysts are skeptical of all of the top three. Ball’s shot selection and defense are glaring concerns. Edwards’ competitive instinct has been questioned, as has his play making and shooting consistency, and Wiseman’s limitations make some wonder if he’s going to be an ultra-athletic paint player rather than a franchise star.

The swarm of support for Ball as the first overall pick followed news from Jonathan Givony. It was reported that the Timberwolves had Ball in for his first private workout with any team. How much does this really tell us, though?

It means the Timberwolves are considering Ball, but that’s hardly surprising. They also had a private workout with Edwards. Despite murmurs they could shock everyone and take Wiseman, that’s a very unlikely situation, as is reflected in Wiseman’s odds. The former Memphis center will only go first if the T-Wolves trade the pick.

The Trade possibility

Kevin O’Connor reported the Timberwolves are looking to acquire a second lottery pick. That doesn’t sound like a team which is desperate to flip the first overall pick, but they could look to trade the top pick and end up with two other lottery selections.

Currently picking first and seventeenth, could Minnesota end up with three and six? The Charlotte Hornets have been suggested as a trade partner for the T-Wolves, and O’Connor mentioned that a number of teams are looking at Atlanta’s sixth pick, suggesting the Hawks could be willing to deal it.

A straight-up deal might be more likely, but the Timberwolves could look into a three-team trade with Atlanta and Charlotte. As O’Connor covered, they could send Jarrett Culver to Atlanta with the seventeenth pick to move up to six, and then maybe take a chance on Malik Monk or Miles Bridges with a future Charlotte first to move down from one to three.

The Hornets, with Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham in the backcourt, will be after a big man. They are the most likely team to trade up to first overall – the possibility of Charlotte being aggressive with a draft night trade could make James Wiseman a good bet.

Finding Value

Charlotte aren’t renowned for their shrewd front office moves. There are options for big men at three if Wiseman is off the board – Onyeka Okongwu and Obi Toppin are different, but exciting, players. The Hornets making a potentially reckless trade for the top pick, and effectively Wiseman, has to be considered in this market.

Similarly, the noise around Ball shouldn’t be too much of a distraction. He’s obviously not worth betting at that price. There are contrasting reports on how NBA front offices view Ball. He’s not a great fit with D’Angelo Russell – the Timberwolves have to really love him to take him first overall.

Minnesota taking Edwards is very much on the table. It has been the expectation until the last few days. Backing Edwards to have his name called first is probably the best value, but Wiseman is a tempting bet with the Timberwolves considering a trade and the Hornets lurking.

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