Tonight, is the 2023 NBA Draft, starting at 8 PM Eastern Time, and we’ve broken down most of the betting scenarios surrounding the draft. There have been rumors swirling around stars Paul George, Damian Lillard, and others. In addition to the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Wizards trade last evening, I expect other trades to happen tonight, which may impact the mock drafts for tonight. Let’s look at my top sleepers for tonight’s draft. If you are looking for the best betting odds and stats, here is information to know:
Top 5 odds: +5000
Top 10 odds: +220
Position: Forward | Team/Country: Kansas | HT/WT: 6-6 204| Age: 19
2022-2023 Stats: 14.1 PPG | 1.4 STL | 1.7 AST | 5.1 REB | 40.3 3PT % | 45.3 FG %
Gradey Dick only played on year at Kansas and finished Second Team ALL-BIG 12. Most importantly, he established himself as one of the best shooters in this class, if not the best. If Gradey Dick is left open, he's mostly guaranteed to knock down the three. In addition, he has a smooth shot, and he is known to knock down consistent shots. Dick excels in corner threes and is always down the court in transition. We are used to seeing Gradey Dick down corner threes; however, we've seen him snipe from just about anywhere on the court. In addition to exceptional shooting, Dick is a great defender, and averaged almost 2 steals a game.
I think Gradey Dick will be a force in the NBA, especially teams who need shooting and defense. Dick isn't known for his exceptional speed, in addition to playmaking and facilitating the ball. In fact, Gradey Dick only averaged 1.7 assists a game. In order to become a multi-versatile player, Dick must improve his passing and his ability to make plays for his teammates. In addition, he must work on being able to defend the 1-4 positions.
I could see Gradey Dick sliding into the top 10, given his odds are +220. The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a sharpshooter, so perhaps they will trade up. The Orlando Magic need backcourt shooting as well, perhaps they make something happen, given they have 2 first round picks. I could also see him either land with the Utah Jazz at #9, or perhaps the Raptors or hawks.
Top 5 odds: +7500
Top 10 odds: +3500
Position: Guard | Team/Country: Connecticut | HT/WT: 6-4 186| Age: 21
2022-2023 Stats: 16.2 PPG | 0.7 STL | 1.3 AST | 3.8 REB | 38.8 3PT % | 40.9 FG %
NCAA Champion, FIRST-TEAM ALL-BIG EAST.
Besides Gradey Dick, Jordan Hawkins is considered one of the best shooters in this draft. He helped lead the Connecticut Huskies to a National Championship and did so with incredible shooting and defense. As a fellow UConn alumna, I've intently watched Jordan Hawkins for the last two seasons. Not only did he shoot 55 percent from the Three in the Championship game against San Diego State, but he also played incredible defense. Even though Hawkins stands a 6 foot 4, he has a 6'6 wingspan, and we've seen him make plenty of blocks in the regular season and the championship. He plays incredible defense, either at the 1 or 2, and has speed. Overall, I see him as strong guard in the NBA who can provide speed and movement, shooting and defense. He also has an incredible shot speed, which may help with contested shots.
Jordan Hawkins is listed as a 6-foot 4 guard; however, I don't see him as a true point guard in the NBA. He only averaged 1.3 assists, and I see him playing better off ball than on offensively. I also think he's a little undersized for his height and could improve in the weight room. Overall, I would like to see him attack to the basket more.
Hawkins is one of my sleeper picks, although the odds for him to be drafted into the top 5 and top 10 are extremely high. I could see him fitting in with Miami, Los Angeles, or even Toronto or Utah.
Top 5 odds: +3000
Top 10 odds: +190
Position: Forward | Team/Country: France| HT/WT: 6-8 194 | Age: 18
2022-2023 Stats: 5 PPG |0.8 STL | 0.8 AST | 3.1 REB | 45.2 3PT % | 53.2 FG %
Bilal Coulibaly was the teammate of Victor Wembanyama, who both played for Paris' Metropolitan 92. Don't let the stats fool, you, after watching hours of film on Bilal Coulibaly, I consider him to be an extremely underrated player in this year's draft. At 6-8, he has an incredible vertical leap, and that has turned him into a defensive player. Due to his size, he's extremely athletic, and has a high 3-point percentage. In addition, Coulibaly is a pure finisher at the rim, and he's extremely efficient at creating his own shot. Although he's been overshadowed by Wembanyama, Coulibaly can be an elite defender in the NBA, especially with a 7-foot wingspan. He may have only averaged 5 points per game; however, he can contribute as a solid slashing defensive wing in the league.
We need to see Bilal Coulibaly perform more on offense in the NBA before labeling him as just a lockdown wing. In addition, he averages under 1 assists per game, and will need to improve on facilitating and handling the ball in the NBA. In addition to slashing to the rim, Coulibaly can work on shooting inconsistencies and developing more of an offensive game. The fact that Bilal Coulibaly shot the three at a high percentage shows he can space the floor, which is extremely important in today's game. Overall, he's extremely impressive, and I do believe he has a higher ceiling in the NBA, and was overshadowed in France.
Dereck Lively II
Top 10 odds: -120
Position: Center | Team/Country: Duke | HT/WT: 7-1 230| Age: 18
2022-2023 Stats: 5.2 PPG | 0.5 STL | 2.4 BLK | 1.1 AST | 5.4 REB | 15.4 3PT % | 65.8 FG %
ALL ACCC-DEFENSIVE TEAM + ALL- FRESHMAN TEAM
Another Freshman out of Duke University, Dereck Lively III is one of the best defensive players in the 2023 NBA Draft. Standing at 7 foot 1, Lively II is an exceptional blocker, rim protector, and finisher at the rim. His wingspan is 7 foot 8, which proves he can be an elite rim protector, and slasher in the NBA. He only averaged 5 points a game at the collegiate level, however that may change in the NBA. Either way, one team will be getting an elite defender at the Center position.
One of his biggest weaknesses is the inability to shoot from the three-point range. Many Centers in the NBA today can shoot and stretch the floor. He lacks playmaking and any sort of low post game. In addition, he only averaged 5 rebounds, considering his height.
His production was low at Duke, which could change. His elite defense and slashing abilities will make him a difference maker right away. According to CBS, he is projected 10th overall to the Dallas Mavericks to play alongside Luka Doncic, and Kyrie Irving, who's a free agent.
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Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Kick/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.
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