As basketball gambling sibyls foretold, Washington Huskies point guard Markelle Fultz became the first overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2017 NBA draft on June 22nd, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Sixers hope that the drafting of Fultz will be the last stage in their vaunted ‘process.’ Fun fact: Franz Kafka’s The Trial’s original German name was ‘Der Process.’ Just sayin’. While Fultz was “excited to head to (City) and join the (team name),” Joel Embiid was probably even more excited than Fultz himself, even coming up with nicknames for Philly’s new starting lineup. Btw, you have until October, Joel; keep working on it.
Fans who like betting on NBA games weren’t as sure that the Los Angeles Lakers would select Lonzo Ball as the second overall pick, but the 2017 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year told Complex he “had a feeling” his name would be next “when [the Lakers] had the pick, right after Markelle.” Like the Lakers President of basketball operations Magic Johnson, Ball is a selfless player, exemplified by 274 assists in 2017-16, which lead the NCAA. Fifty bucks says the charismatic, affable Magic will become a surrogate father for Lonzo, leading to Lavar Ball having to vie with the legend for the young player’s affections. Spike Lee will direct the movie based on these real life facts.
For a while there the basketball gambling odds were that Fultz would go to the Boston Celtics. However, the Celts traded their top pick in exchange for the Sixers’ #3 pick and a 2018 Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick (#2-5) or 2019 first-round pick. Therefore, instead of Fultz Boston selected Duke small forward Jayson Tatum – no relation to Drederick. Maybe they felt guilty for bamboozling the Nets. Then again, if people who enjoy betting on NBA games are to believe Danny Ainge, “we would have picked [Tatum] with the first pick.”Yeah, and the Vegas Golden Knights would have passed on Marc Andre Fleury if the Penguins hadn’t “incentivize” them.
It has yet to be seen whether the Celtics will regret passing on Fultz, but according to 4th overall pick Josh Jackson Boston, LA, and Philly will all be sorry that they didn’t draft him. Vindictive much? Prior to the draft a member of Jackson’s family said they expected him to be in the top three. He fell just a bit short, though, as the Phoenix Suns had him at No. 4. “I’ve been drafted to Phoenix, and I’m going to go there and I’m going to make the best of it,” Jackson said. “I’m going to be the best player I can be. And those teams who didn’t draft me, one day they will be sorry.” Yeah! You broke my heart, Annie! Oops, that slipped out.
The top ten picks were rounded out by De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic), Lauri Markkanen (Minnesota T-Wolves), Frank Ntilikina (NY Knicks), Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas Mavs), and Zach Collins (Kings). It remains to be seen how these additions improve their respective teams’ basketball gambling odds, if at all.