Magic top pick Paolo Banchero opens as betting favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year

The order might not be what you expect after No. 1.

Paolo Banchero’s status as the No. 1 overall pick might’ve been in question leading up to Thursday’s NBA Draft, but never was his talent. The Orlando Magic first-rounder opened Friday as the betting favorite to win the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year at +300 odds on Tipico Sportsbook.

The players that follow don’t all fall in the order they were drafted, however. No. 3 pick Jabari Smith has the second-shortest odds at +350, followed by No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren at +400. No. 5 Jaden Ivey (+500) and No. 4 Keegan Murray (+750) round out the top five before the odds start to lengthen out a little more.

2022-23 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

If the betting drama leading into the draft is any indication, it’s hard to consider any of these guys a sure bet. But it should make for a thrilling finish that goes to the end of the season.

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5 lottery teams closer to 2023 playoff contention after the NBA draft

These teams could make the postseason leap.

When teams are picking at the top of the NBA Draft, it’s usually due to losing a lot of games in the proceeding season. So predicting that one of those teams is going to make the playoffs in the next year is extremely bold.

When it does happen, it’s often a team with a pre-established core bouncing back from a down year due to injuries. In that case, the newly acquired rookie doesn’t always contribute much to the winning — like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, who were lottery picks of the Warriors last year.

Every once in a while, though, a rookie slides into a budding situation and immediately contributes to a playoff push. This past season, Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes was an integral part of Toronto’s return to the playoffs, and Evan Mobley nearly helped the Cavs get in.

Playoff odds aren’t available for the 2022-23 season yet, but once they are, these are the non-playoff lottery teams with the best chance to make similar runs with the help of their newly acquired rookies.

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Behind-the-scenes footage shows Michael Jordan made a Duke joke to NBA draft pick Mark Williams

“Even though you’re a Dukie, I take pride in that we did draft you.”

It was a question we asked and answered: Is noted North Carolina legend Michael Jordan petty enough to skip drafting a Duke player due to the fierce rivalry between the two schools?

Our Bryan Kalbrosky dug into the history of the Charlotte Hornets’ drafts under Jordan and discovered that His Airness has indeed taken a few Duke players here and there.

And on Thursday night, he proved that he could draft a Blue Devil when he took big man Mark Williams.

The funny thing is: He couldn’t resist making a joke to Williams in the Hornets’ behind-the-scenes footage released by Charlotte on Friday:

6 brilliant bettors won $450,000 total on the NBA Draft by avoiding the Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero noise

The NBA’s newest rookies aren’t the only ones securing the bag after draft night.

Imagine what it must’ve been like for people who weeks ago bet on Jabari Smith Jr. to go No. 3 overall in the NBA Draft. Imagine what it would be like to place a couple thousand dollars on Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 pick, only to watch Adrian Wojnarowski tweet Thursday morning that the Duke star was likely going third.

It must have been terrifying. And worth it.

For a few bettors who dropped massive coin on Banchero and Smith wagers before the betting markets went haywire, Thursday night was as much a celebration of riches as it was the turning point in how drafts will be bet on forever.

Sometimes the group chat gets it right.

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Ranking Kyrie Irving’s reported 7 NBA sign-and-trade wish list destinations … including staying with the Nets

Who really should acquire Irving?

The Brooklyn Nets’ offseason could have been way less dramatic.

They could have leaned into the inevitable and given Kyrie Irving what he wants in terms of a contract, keeping him with a franchise that could contend if Kevin Durant and Joe Harris are healthy, Ben Simmons returns and is something of his old self, and Seth Curry can be a supporting shooter.

But now? It’s shaping up to be a wild summer.

Irving may not sign with the Nets and could demand a sign-and-trade. What that could mean for Kevin Durant? We’ll see (I can’t imagine he’d be too happy about that).

So while we wait, let’s run through Irving’s wish list reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and who should try to acquire him — we won’t factor in cap space. And we’re including the Nets as an option:

Betting action trumped one of sports’ most reliable reporters, and that will have a lasting impact

Always follow the money.

With a single tweet, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski conceded defeat in a battle waged long before he even realized there was one.

The tweet: “As the Orlando Magic move closer to getting on the clock, Duke’s Paolo Banchero is now looming as a frontrunner to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, sources tell ESPN.”

To the casual observer, his words were merely an update to a previous report based on new intel. To the betting community, they were a tremor in the bedrock of ground they once thought to be reliable.

Despite apparent sharp action moving Banchero’s odds to be drafted No. 1 from a very distant third-shortest late last week to favorite by the morning of the draft, Wojnarowski reported Auburn’s Jabari Smith as the “increasingly firm” top choice. Not stopping there, his report projected the top three picks, including Banchero to the Houston Rockets at No. 3.

Sportsbooks reacted accordingly, as Smith’s new +110 odds were dropped to -10000 after the tweet.

Thus, one of the biggest fissures in the public’s trust was soon to be born — one way or another. Normally, I would have advised people to follow the money trail. People aren’t betting so much to move Banchero’s odds from +440 to -210 in less than a daydown from +2000 just last week — without knowing something the rest of us don’t. However, Wojnarowski’s word has been as bond as any in this arena. I trusted him so much as to declare the draft spoiled. Boy, was I wrong.

Just moments before the draft was set to start, Woj started to get conflicting information.

His last-minute reversal will reverberate in the betting world for weeks, months and maybe years to come. How will sportsbooks react to reliable reporting that contradicts the betting action? How will the public? Will high-profile reporters keep their information closer to the vest in those scenarios? And does the industry have a wider insider problem that needs to be addressed? Is there really anything that can be done about it?

My one prediction is that books will more often consider removing odds altogether in those scenarios, as we saw a few do Thursday. After the wild rollercoaster ride that was the draft’s first few picks, we may get more answers soon.

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2022-23 NBA title odds updated after the draft

There was a little movement.

The NBA is the rare league where one player can dramatically shift the title expectations of an entire franchise in a single offseason. It doesn’t often happen as fast with the new players entering via draft, but the hope is that they expedite the process. Which is why the lottery is so important.

Whether Paolo Banchero or Jaden Ivey, or any of the other top picks can be that player remains to be seen. But it’s never too early to take a look at championship odds to see what the oddsmakers think.

Here’s a look at where each team stands after the draft, with odds from Tipico Sportsbook.

2022-23 NBA Championship Odds

Below are the teams that have seen their odds change from just a week ago after the NBA Finals, most of which are minimal and not likely reflections of the draft. For example, the Spurs’ odds actually grew longer despite three first-round picks, all of which received a grade of A- or better in For The Win’s draft tracker. That movement is likely more a reaction to Dejounte Murray trade rumors than anything.

  • Warriors odds grew from +480
  • Nets odds grew from +650
  • Clippers odds shortened from +700
  • Bucks odds shortened from +750
  • Cavs odds shortened from +10000
  • Spurs odds grew from +20000
  • Pacers odds grew from +30000
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The Agada brothers step into the big shoes of the Antetokounmpo family in Disney+’s new Giannis biopic, Rise

The Agada Brothers step into the shoes of the Antetokounmpo brothers in “Rise” on Disney+

If there’s one word that describes the story of the Antetokounmpo family, it’s impossible. When you watch “Rise” — the Disney+ movie based on Giannis’ life — it puts “impossible” into context.

His parents, Charles and Veronica, left Lagos in 1991 in search of a better life. They immigrated to Athens, Greece. They only brought their son, Thanasis, with them. They left his newborn brother, Francis, behind with his grandparents because of the grueling journey they were about to face.

Eventually, they started a family. Giannis, Kostas and Alex were born. And, as a family, they made a living. Charles worked odd jobs left and right trying to work his way up to becoming a documented Greek citizen despite being denied at every turn. Meanwhile, Veronica and the boys sold trinkets, glasses and watches to tourists all day on the streets just to try and get by.

The four brothers slept in one bed. Their parents slept on the couch. They had to take quick showers to conserve water. They made choices between paying rent on time or having a car to get around.

That all seems unreal, but what’s even more unreal is the fact that Giannis first picked up a basketball in 2008. By 2013, he was a first-round pick in the NBA draft. He changed his entire family’s lives with one decision. That’s incredible.

It’s hard to put yourself in those shoes where you’ve got to make those sorts of choices for literal survival. And, not just for yourself, but for your family. I cannot fathom it.

So instead of trying, I talked to a couple of people who can — at least, in a sense.

Brothers Uche and Ral Agada were absolute stars in “Rise.” Uche played the role of Giannis and Ral played Thanasis and the two absolutely crushed it.

Playing the Antetokounmpo brothers is hard. It’s emotional. “I didn’t know how hard it was for them being undocumented,” Ral Agada told For The Win in our conversation together.

Through all the struggles, all the hardships and all the obstacles, the family somehow still persevered. And now they’re thriving.

The Agada brothers talked to me about what it was like to step into those shoes for a minute and how this all came together. What follows below is our conversation.

This conversation has been edited for accuracy and brevity

Los Lakers nos dieron un respiro con la selección No. 35 del NBA Draft

Los Lakers adquirieron la selección No. 35 en el Draft de la NBA 2022 del Magic para ayudar al rostro rejuvenecer con su nuevo jugador.

Los Lakers de Los Ángeles vienen de una temporada decepcionante que tenía aspiraciones de campeonato antes de que comenzara. Para empeorar las cosas, anteriormente no tenían una selección en el draft de este año.

La que habría sido su selección No. 8 pertenece a los New Orleans Pelicans gracias al intercambio por Anthony Davis en 2019. Su selección de segunda ronda de este año ahora pertenece a los San Antonio Spurs.

Sin embargo, estoy seguro de que los fanáticos de los Lakers harían ese intercambio por AD nuevamente en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, considerando que lideró al equipo al campeonato No. 17 en la historia de la franquicia.

Pero, por supuesto, los Lakers tuvieron que hacer algún tipo de movimiento para adquirir una selección en el draft de este año. Hicieron un intercambio con el Orlando Magic para adquirir una selección en la segunda ronda.

Traducción: Los Angeles Lakers adquirieron la selección No. 35 de Orlando a cambio de una futura selección de segunda ronda y dinero en efectivo, las fuentes le dicen a ESPN.

El gerente general de los Lakers, Rob Pelinka, había insinuado previamente la idea de intercambiar por una selección de draft de segunda ronda para ayudar al equipo a rejuvenecer. Afortunadamente para los fanáticos de los Lakers, Pelinka se mantuvo fiel a su palabra e hizo exactamente eso.

Con la selección No. 35, los Lakers seleccionaron a Max Christie de la Universidad de Michigan State.

No había forma de que no estuvieran activos el día del draft considerando que solo tienen cinco jugadores bajo contrato para el próximo. Actualmente tienen bajo contrato a su ‘Big 3’ de LeBron James, Anthony Davis y Russell Westbrook.

Los otros dos jugadores bajo contrato son Talen Horton-Tucker y Kendrick Nunn.

La cantidad de jugadores bajo contrato podría aumentar a siete dependiendo de si los Lakers deciden tomar sus opciones de equipo en los contratos de Stanley Johnson y Austin Reaves.

Los Lakers tuvieron que hacer un movimiento porque necesitaban agregar otra pieza joven que con suerte contribuirá a un equipo con aspiraciones de campeonato la próxima temporada.

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Lakers Summer League games just got way more interesting with Shaq and Scottie Pippen’s sons playing together

The Lakers’ Summer League team should be fun!

One thing about the Los Angeles Lakers is that they’ll never fail to bring in some big names. I mean, it is Hollywood after all. And how many bigger names are there in the NBA community than O’Neal and Pippen?

The Lakers traded into Thursday’s draft and took Max Christie with the 35th pick — a nice get for them, all things considered. But the Lakers’ two most noteworthy gets came at the draft’s conclusion when it was announced the Lakers had signed both Shareef O’Neal and Scotty Pippen Jr.

Of course, Shareef O’Neal is the son of Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal. And yes, Scotty Pippen Jr. is exactly who you think it is — the son of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

Pippen Jr. will be one of the Lakers’ two-way players, while O’Neal gets a shot to compete for the purple and gold during the summer league.

These moves are already outstanding ones for the Lakers’ marketing teams but could also be great on-court additions should O’Neal and Pippen Jr. play anything like their old men.

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