2021 NBA Draft Odds For No. 2 Overall Pick
Odds according to DraftKings as of Friday, June 25
While sportsbooks have Cade Cunningham as a virtual lock to go No. 1 overall (-10000 at DraftKings) in next month’s NBA Draft, the rest of the field remains relatively uncertain.
Most experts are favoring Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs to go, in some order, second through fourth — though a lot can change between now and July 29.
The Houston Rockets have the No. 2 overall pick. Houston has plenty of needs across the board. The emergence of big man Christian Wood has been a nice surprise, but the Rockets could absolutely use a strong defensive presence down low.
Mobley would provide that. The 7-foot center with a 7-foot-4 wingspan won Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year during his only season at USC. His ability to defend the rim and perimeter makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s draft.
His offense is no joke, either. Mobley has decent shooting range, can bring the ball up in transition and is one of the best passing big men available. He seems to fit all of the criteria for a modern-day big man, though he likely needs a more consistent jump shot.
While Mobley shot a respectable 30% from 3-point range in his lone college season, he shot just 69.7% from the free-throw line and couldn’t be relied upon to nab a bucket in crunch time. The big man will also have to bulk up a little to handle NBA-level physicality.
Mobley is still the odds-on favorite to be drafted No. 2 at -118.
Green and Suggs are tied for the second-shortest odds (+125) to be selected with the No. 2 overall pick.
Green might be the best value play here. The former top recruit — who bypassed college basketball in favor of the G League — is a 6-foot-6 wing whose lateral quickness and vertical leap elevate him above the other wingers in the draft.
Though he can be a streaky shooter, he still shot 36.5% from 3 on 5.7 attempts per game over 15 G League games. He’s a scorer who can get a bucket from almost anywhere on the floor.
Defensively, though, there’s a lot of room for improvement. There’s reason to believe that with his agility — and with proper technique and weight training — he’ll be able to figure it out on that end of the floor, but as of right now, that’s one of the biggest question marks about his game.
Suggs had a standout season with a Gonzaga team whose only loss came in the National Championship game.
The 6-foot-4 point guard, of course, sunk one of the most famous shots in college basketball history against UCLA in the Final Four, when he sent the Bruins home with a buzzer-beating, 40-foot bank shot in overtime.
He’s a classic floor general whose size, athleticism and basketball IQ makes him an ideal 1-guard. Suggs can finish at the rim with ease, using his strength, speed and awareness to navigate tough angles and outstretched big men.
Suggs’ most glaring weakness is his shot, which can be streaky. Though his form and range indicate that he can improve, until Suggs locks down a consistent shot — especially off of screens — it’s hard to guarantee that Suggs will be an elite NBA point guard.