Sources tell ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, that the order of the top 3 picks in the NBA draft is becoming more firm as the NBA teams finish their boards. Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr. Go to the Orlando Magic At No. 1, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren The Oklahoma City Thunder At No. 2, and Duke's Paolo Banchero The Houston Rockets No. 3.
Smith, who stands at 6'10”, worked out with the Magic earlier in the month and was the consensus betting favorite as to being selected first overall on Wednesday night. Jeff Weltman, Magic president, stated Monday that the organization was still undecided over its draft strategy and that it “it's still very early in the process.”
Smith admitted that he was nervous about his Magic workout but stated that it was enjoyable to push himself and make it through.
Smith, 19, averaged 16.9 ppg and 7.4 rebounds during his one season at Auburn. He shot 43% from the field, and 42% from 3-point range. Smith averaged 20.8 ppg and 6.4 rebounds in his match against Auburn-ranked teams.
Holmgren, 7'4″, also met with Magic last week. He praised the franchise and said that the organization was led by “great people”.
Banchero, who coached Duke to the Final Four last season under Mike Krzyzewski, beat Smith to emerge as the consensus betting favourite for the No. 1. Pick, before odds were removed from sportsbooks' boards.
Smith's odds of winning had increased to -275 by Wednesday, before Banchero passed Smith. Banchero was listed at -200 by Caesars Sportsbook to be the first overall. Smith was the second-favorite at Caesars at +140. Holmgren was at +1100 on Thursday before sportsbooks began taking off the odds.
Fenstermaker, a seasoned Nevada bookmaker, said Wednesday to ESPN's David Purdum, “It's probably the most bizarre draft market I believe I've ever booked.”
On Sunday afternoon, more bets were placed on Banchero to be the Top Pick than on any other NBA Market at Caesars Sportsbook. PointsBet online sportsbook reported a spike in betting interest for Banchero to be No. 1.
This report was contributed by ESPN's David Purdum, and The Associated Press.