The NBA’s 2019-20 season has just started but as early as now, the oddsmakers have already The top overall pick in the draft is the first player chosen among all eligible draftees during the NBA draft. It isn’t just a status symbol for players but it is often the barometer for NBA success.

Eleven top picks have won the NBA’s MVP award with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading the way with a record six NBA MVP awards won. Since the NBA Draft lottery started in 1985, a total of seven top overall picks have won the NBA title.

Most top picks have been American basketball players but a total of 13 international players were selected first overall in the NBA Draft, including two who did not have previous basketball experience in the United States.

Earlier this year, 18-year old Zion Williamson from Duke University was selected first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Williamson played only one season at Duke and this year most of the top names in the odds boar are incoming college freshmen. They are led by James Wiseman who will play for the University of Georgia.

Here are the NBA betting odds to be the top overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Player Odds
James Wiseman +300
Anthony Edwards +550
LaMelo Ball +650
Isaiah Stewart +700
Cole Anthony +850
RJ Hampton +850
Nico Mannion +1500
Precious Achiuwa +1700
Deni Avdija +1700
Theo Maledon +1800

Basketball Who Are The Favorites?

James Wiseman is the 2019 Gatorade National Player of the Year as the best high school basketball player in the United States. The 7-1 and 240-pound Wiseman is only 18 years of age and is a five-star recruit out of Memphis East High School. He will be attending the University of Memphis this coming NCAA season under the tutelage of former NBA great Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. As a junior, he led Memphis East to the TSSAA Class AAA championship. In his senior year, Wiseman helped his team win the Region 8AAA championship and they also finished as runner-up to Bearden High School in the TSSAA Class AAA Championship. He averaged 25.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game as a freshman while being selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoops Summit. Wiseman was co-MVP at the Jordan Brand Classic game.

Anthony Edwards was rated as the top shooting guard of the 2019 class. This five-star, Top 5 recruit played football for most of his childhood but eventually found himself excelling in basketball. Edwards helped the Hoy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta win the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA championship in 2018 and to a runner-up finish in the same tournament during his senior season. Edwards averaged 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists during his senior year and earned USA Today All-American honors as well as fourth-team All-American honors from MaxPrep. He was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic in 2019. Last February, he committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs, becoming the school’s best recruit in the modern era.

LaMelo Ball is the younger brother of the NBA’s Lonzo Ball. He gained national exposure while playing alongside Lonzo and their other brother LiAngelo at Chino Hills High School in California. In his first season at Chino Hill, LaMelo was named MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year. During his sophomore season, Ball scored 92 points in a game. He played for Lithuania’s Prienai team after a coaching dispute involving his father LaVar. He was a commit at UCLA, where Lonzo played his college ball, but LaMelo eventually chose to play professional basketball for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia. The 18-year old Ball is a 6-6 point guard who is considered the best point guard in the class. The ball is currently averaging 12.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game in Australia.

Isaiah Stewart is the 2019 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and 2019 Mr. Basketball USA winner as the best high school basketball player in the United States. The 18-year old from Rochester, New York was part of the U.S. Basketball team which won the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup. Like the favorites here, Stewart played in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American game, 2019 Nike Hoops Summit, and 2019 Jordan Brand Classic. During his senior season at La Lumiere School, Stewart averaged 18.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game while leading the school to a 30-1 record. The 6-9 teenager will attend the University of Washington this coming season in the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament.

Cole Anthony is one of the best prospects of the class of 2019 and played high school basketball at the Archbishop Molloy High School before finishing at Oak Hill Academy for his senior season. At Oak Hill, Anthony averaged in a triple-double, compiling 17.8 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game. He scored 14 points, grabbed five boards and issued seven assists to win the MVP of the 2019 McDonald’s All-American game. The 19-year old from Portland, Oregon was also the MVP at the 2019 Nike Hoops Summit and was co-MVP at the Jordan Brand Classic game. Anthony will play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2019 NCAA season. Anthony played for the Canadian team which won the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Basketball Who Will Be the #1 Pick in 2020?

The most interesting part about the Class of 2019 is that there is no clear cut pick to be the top overall pick. There are no once in a lifetime talent in the mold of Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony Towns or even Zion Williamson. But that doesn’t mean that the upcoming class isn’t loaded with talent.

When it comes to talent, I think that Anthony Edwards is probably the most talented. The 6-5 Edwards is a scorer and he has both the physical tools and athleticism to be a scorer in the NBA. He is also an excellent playmaker for his age but like most of these youngsters, there is plenty to develop in his fundamentals. I think the key will be his ability to lead Georgia. There is no question he will put up the numbers but he will gain more mileage if the Bulldogs win games.

Experience is also a key factor and when you talk about that, there isn’t usually much of it in these young kids. However, La Melo Ball has been playing in a professional league this season and although it’s nowhere near the NBA level, the kid is playing among men right now. Talent was also never an issue with LaMelo and in fact, many are saying he is much better than Lonzo Ball. The fact that LaMelo has been playing professional basketball while the rest of the field are preparing for college is a big plus for him.

There is also a foreign player who could easily go #1 as well. The likes of Deni Avdija of Israel who was the MVP of the U20 European Championships and Theo Maledon who is a starter in the Eurocup and Jeep Elite League at the age of 17. Then there is French point guard Killian Hayes who has been on the radar of many scouts since 2017 when he was named MVP of the U16 European Championships.

The thing is, it depends on who wins the draft lottery and what that winning team needs. Right now, the season is still too early although we have favorites on who will be at the bottom of the team standings right now. If it’s going to be teams like Cleveland, Washington, New York or Charlotte, I think they will go for the big man. 14 top overall picks starting the year 2000 have been centers or power forwards, so you can make a case for James Wiseman here.

After big men, point guards are next with 5 top selections in the last 19 drafts. This is where the likes of LaMelo Ball and Cole Anthony come in. As for Anthony Edwards, I’m not too high on him because the last couple of top overall picks like him in Andrew Wiggins and Markelle Fultz haven’t been as successful in the big league. Right now, I like James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball as my two favorites but it’s still a long season so, I’ll wait at how these collegiate freshmen will do in the NCAA. However, if you put a gun on my head right now, I’ll go with LaMelo Ball not because LaVar convinced me but because I think he has the best combination of skill and experience in the group.

Early Prediction: LaMelo Ball

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