With less than 48 hours remaining before the 2022 NBA Draft, the landing spot of the top three prospects is generally deemed a conclusion. The Orlando Magic and Jabari Smith chatter has been too loud, for too long, so it’s probably safe to conclude that he will be taking up residency in Orange County.
The noise surrounding the Oklahoma City Thunder seems to point towards Chet Holmgren, and that has led to the assumption that Paolo Banchero will land with the Houston Rockets.
If I were a betting man, I’d guess this is how it plays out. That being said, if I were a betting man, I’d also bet on a certain someone to go off script. You should know who that someone is and it’s because we’ve seen him do it time and time again over the years…
OKC’s General Manager has made a career of going against the grain. The Russell Westbrook and James Harden picks weren’t exactly the consensus picks when he made them, so I could very realistically see a scenario play out where he opts against Holmgren in favor of Banchero, assuming that Smith is still the Magic’s guy.
Many of us have already gotten married to the idea of Banchero in Rockets’ red. Now what is there to gain from Presti pulling an okey-doke for Houston fans? Well…MONEY, if you’re into that type of thing.
Thanks to our friends at DraftKings, those who are seeking to boost their draft night experience can double their fun by putting wagers on various draft odds. You have the option to go with the status quo with Holmgren at two and Banchero at three:
But…if you’re interested in making a couple more dollars and believe that Presti pulls a Presti, the most enticing wager is Holmgren at three (get your full odds here):
That means a $100 bet on Holmgren to the Rockets would just you a $550 profit. Call me crazy, but until I see Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania inevitably leak the picks on draft night, nothing is off the table. At this time, it appears Holmgren’s camp prefers OKC as a destination.
However, it’s what Presti prefers, and I’m not sure any of us know what’s going through that guy’s mind right now. With two young guards in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, it’s unlikely Jaden Ivey sneaks up to number two, but again, you can’t rule anything out with Presti. Any exclusion of Holmgren probably means it’s Banchero, and that means Rafael Stone just has to take the talented big who fell to him.
Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. most likely pushes Ivey down the Rockets’ board. That coupled with the glaring hole left in the frontcourt from the Christian Wood trade leaves Holmgren as the slam dunk pick.
And just like that, your wallet looks a little thicker.
Check out DraftKings Sportsbookthe official sports book partner of SB Nation.