The top three picks in tonight's 2022 NBA Draft from Brooklyn will likely be Auburn's Jabari Smith, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren and Duke's Paolo Banchero, probably in that order, to Orlando, Oklahoma City and Houston, respectively. The CBS Sports Big Board, though, ranks Purdue guard Jaden Ivey as the top prospect in this class, and the New York Knicks are known to covet him. Caesars Sportsbook offers odds on which player lands with the Knicks' first pick.
One thing to note about this prop: It corresponds to whichever player the Knicks choose with their initial pick of the night, regardless of the pick's numerical slot.
Last season as a sophomore with the Boilermakers, the 6-foot-4 Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists and was one of five players nationally to average at least 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists with 30 steals and 20 blocks. He and Banchero were only underclassmen to do so.
New York, coming off a massively disappointing season, is set to pick 11th in Round 1. There's zero chance Ivey is available there, so if the Knicks want Ivey they will have to trade up possibly as high as No. 4, where the Kings sit. Sacramento may be willing to move back because it doesn't really "need" Ivey, as he's a similar player to current Kings guard De'Aaron Fox.
SNY's Ian Begley has reported the Knicks are willing to offer a young player (Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes) and multiple first-round picks to the Kings. It's tough to see Sacramento moving all the way back to 11th, however. New York needs a lead guard in the worst way. Ivey is +600 to be the Knicks' initial pick and also the -150 favorite to be the fourth overall pick – both things could happen.
Ivey is the son of Notre Dame women's basketball head coach Niele Ivey, who played in the WNBA and once served as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.
There are three +450 co-favorites to be New York's initial pick: Duke's AJ Griffin, Wisconsin's Johnny Davis, and Ohio State's Malaki Branham. Griffin and Branham are raw and surely would not be contributors next season. Davis probably could be as the sophomore was the Big Ten Player of the Year and Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year last season. He has a lower ceiling than Griffin and Branham but a higher floor. Of those three, Griffin is the highest-ranked on the CBS Sports Big Board at No. 9 overall.
Griffin is given an Over/Under draft spot of 11.5, Branham 14.5 and Davis 10.5. Washington picks immediately before New York and may be looking guard with Bradley Beal potentially leaving – Beal and Kyrie Irving both could be Knicks targets in free agency.
There are many other options on the Knicks props, but the four immediately after Ivey are all +1200: Baylor's Jeremy Sochan, Duke's Mark Williams, France's Ousmane Dieng and LSU's Tari Eason. Former Kansas star and 2022 Final Four MOP Ochai Agbaji is +1400.
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