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NBA Draft #1 Overall Pick Prop: Cade Cunningham (-800)
The Detroit Pistons earned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, for the first time since 1970.
Detroit will have a tough decision whether or not they keep their top pick and select Cade Cunningham or collect draft picks, players or future assets. Teams like Oklahoma City, Toronto and Orlando have the capital to move up for Cunningham, but will they?
Cunningham to go No. 1 is a runaway and free money. The only issue is the odds. At -800 odds, you would have to be a thousand-dollar bettor to bring home something worth bragging about on this prop. He is the heavy favorite for a reason.
The one-and-done freshman averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists, taking Oklahoma State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Cunningham was named consensus first team All-American, Big 12 All-Newcomer Team, Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year.
While his assist numbers do not scream playmaker for a 6-foot-8 point guard, he is that and much more. On the pro level, Cunningham will make an impact with his court vision and, of course, his ability to score and create his own shot.
While he had his fair amount of passes to make the highlight reel at Oklahoma State, it was this off-hand pass in high school that showed me the flashes of what I needed to see before he even took the court for the Cowboys.
Defensively, Cunningham made a difference with 12 steals over the final five games of the season. His size and wingspan (7-foot) will allow him to tower over most opposing guards, shooting or the point position.
Cunningham had his moments this season where he wowed the country. He scored a career-high 40 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a double-double OT thrilling win at rival Oklahoma.
Cunningham recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds in his debut versus UT-Arlington, and you cannot forget his game-clinching jumper to beat Arkansas in the SEC/BIG 12 Challenge.
Overall, Cunningham is hands down the best prospect in this class and will be the No. 1 overall pick.
Before we receive odds on other players and their draft position totals -- here my big prediction out.
I believe Cunningham will be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder via trades.
Oklahoma City just pulled off a trade for Kemba Walker, so don't be surprised if he ends up being dealt on draft night. We have witnessed big names like Jimmy Butler, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo traded from their teams on draft night.
A deal that involves Walker plus a top 5 draft pick, a player or two and a likely future pick would be enticing for the No. 1 overall pick. The Thunder have more talent to offer the rebuilding Pistons and plenty of future capital with 17 first round picks and 38 total until 2027.
A few other players that could be dealt on draft night in order for draft position or cap space is Walker, Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons. All three of them are likely to play for another team within the next season or two.
I expect the Thunder's trade for Walker is meant to acquire more picks or assets if they cannot move up for Cunningham.
Here are complete odds on who will go No. 1 on PointsBet.
The only two players that trail with potential value for the No. 1 pick if something happened to Cunningham are USC's Evan Mobley (+900) and Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs (+900).
Mobley was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, First Team All-Pac 12 and a consensus second-team All-American.
At 7-foot-1, Mobley averaged 2.9 blocks per game and 95 total (2nd-most). He was also a force on the boards with 8.7 per game, in addition to his team-leading 16.4 points per game.
Suggs was also named a consensus second team All-American and awarded first team All-WCC, WCC Newcomer of the Year, WCC Freshman of the Year and WCC Tournament Most Oustanding Player.
Suggs averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in only 28.9 minutes per game. Gonzaga had so much talent and often blew opponents out that Suggs' minutes do not even compare to his competition. Mobley averaged 33.9 minutes and Cunningham 35.4 per game.
The No. 1 overall pick has been a freshman for 11 straight seasons. The last player selected as a sophomore or an older class was Blake Griffin in 2009. Every player selected first overall and after Griffin was a one-and-done prospect, including Anthony Bennett (yikes).
Either way, take some free money on Cunningham going No. 1 overall or if you can parlay this prop -- find another future worth grabbing in baseball, like Shohei Ohtani or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to win AL MVP and get this to +200 or better.
Pick: Cade Cunningham to be selected No. 1 Overall
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