NBA draft odds or not, Blake Griffin of Oklahoma has been tapped to be the No.1 pick in the draft, which takes place on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. However, after Griffin goes to the Los Angeles Clippers, even sports betting software would have a tough time handicapping the rest of the first round.
The Clippers haven’t had much luck in the draft, and 1998’s selection of Michael Olawokandi has to be one of the worst wastes of the No.1 pick of all time. However, they figure not to be able to miss with Griffin, who left Oklahoma after two years of dominating. Griffin is wildly athletic and has been compared to Amare Stoudamire, but at least he’ll pretend to play defense. He doesn’t have much of a jump shot, but at 6’9”, 250 lbs, who cares?
Then the rest of the draft gets interesting. Memphis has the second pick, but UConn center Hasheem Thabeet and Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio have come out and said they don’t want to play there for various reasons. The Grizzlies could pick either and work out a trade, and they could also trade the pick as well. New York has said to be interested in moving up from the No.8 pick, and Phoenix as well. The top players left after that are Arizona State guard James Harden, Davidson guard Stephen Curry, and Memphis guard Tyreke Evans. Arizona forward Jordan Hill has impressed NBA execs in workouts and is slated to be a lottery pick, while forward DeJuan Blair from Pitt and Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn have also raised their stock. A pair of swingmen, Duke’s Gerald Henderson and UCLA’s Demar DeRozan, are also touted to go in the lottery, but there isn’t a lot of upside to them, especially DeRozan, who should have stayed in school longer than a year.
After the last few drafts, fans and those who make sports picks have been spoiled with star players such as Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo (2008), Kevin Durant (2007), Brandon Roy (2006), Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Danny Granger (2005), Dwight Howard (2004) and of course, the heralded ’03 class (LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony). This draft looks to be solid, but outside of Griffin, there isn’t one player that you would figure would turn out to be a star. Even Griffin isn’t a sure thing, at least until he leaves the Clippers in a few years. This year’s NBA draft odds are sure to be entertaining, at least.