A sad Detroit Pistons season appropriately went out with a whimper on Thursday, as the NBA decided to move on without them.
While the league is going to Disney World to settle the 2019-20 championship, the once-proud Pistons are licking their wounds and navigating the early stages of what could be a long, painful rebuild.
A nice boost could come in the form of some lottery luck, though most agree the 2020 NBA Draft crop is one of the weakest in recent memory.
Pistons have solid NBA Draft Lottery odds
The Pistons finished play on March 11 with the league’s fifth-worst record at 20-46.
It’s an unfortunate place to land, as they were only a half-game away from the second spot on the league’s reverse standings. Losing 18 out of their final 21 games after trading Andre Drummond. After losing Blake Griffin for the season because of injury, Detroit could’ve continued a helpful climb up the lottery ladder.
A key for the Pistons would have been to get into the top three, where the odds are flattened. Those teams have a 14.0% chance at the top slot and a 52.1% chance at a top-four pick.
Instead, the Pistons sit at five after the league announced the March 11 standings will stand.
So, going into the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on Aug. 25, the Pistons will have a 10.5% chance at the top pick and 42.1% odds of landing in the top four.
Odds to be top pick in 2020 NBA Draft
|DraftKings Sportsbook||FoxBet Sportsbook||PointsBet Sportsbook|
Who will be the first pick of the NBA Draft?
The betting markets are coalescing around a trio of prospects who are the most likely names to come off the board first on Oct. 15.
Guard Anthony Edwards of Georgia, center James Wiseman of Memphis, and well-traveled guard LaMelo Ball are the odds-on favorites to go first.
The highest riser lately appears to be Edwards. In one season with the Bulldogs, Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
DraftKings Sportsbook, which made its entry into Michigan official on Thursday, had Edwards with the second-highest odds in late April at +200.
However, on Friday afternoon, he was the odds-on favorite to go No. 1 at -110.
Back in April, FanDuel Sportsbook had Edwards as the favorite to go first with even odds (+100).
Wiseman consensus second, Ball third with short odds
Wiseman, who played just three games in his lone season at Memphis before being declared ineligible, was the favorite to be picked first in April at -110 by DraftKings. He’s listed second at +175.
DraftKings has Ball, who played in Australia last year, third on the list at +250.
Edwards also is the favorite to go No. 1 according to Fox Bet (+110) and PointsBet (+100).
Wiseman has the second-highest odds for Fox Bet (+150) and PointsBet (+180), while Ball is third (+300 at both).
Big drop-off to long shot NBA Draft prospects
There is a sizable drop-off to the rest of the names on the list, suggesting everyone else is a long shot to go No. 1.
Deni Avdija of Israel is fourth according to Fox Bet (+650) and PointsBet (+525). Obi Toppin of Dayton is fourth on the DraftKings list at +1,000.
Point guard Killian Hayes of France is tied with Avdija for fifth by DraftKings (+1,500).
Pistons searching for GM, building a young core
The Pistons are also apparently shopping for a general manager, as reported first by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN last week.
Coach Dwane Casey and special adviser Ed Stefanski are helming the search for owner Tom Gores after two years of the team going without a GM.
The team will look to build around a young core that features Bruce Brown, Sekou Doumbouya, Luke Kennard and Svi Mykhailiuk, along with Christian Wood, a restricted free agent this offseason.