2019 NBA Draft Props: Will Darius Garland Go Over/Under 5.5?

2019 NBA Draft Props: Will Darius Garland Go Over/Under 5.5? article feature image

Photo credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Darius Garland

  • The 2019 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN) in Brooklyn.
  • Will Vanderbilt freshman Darius Garland go over/under the draft position of 5.5?

Many NBA Draft watchers might be surprised to hear the name of Darius Garland called early Thursday night. He played just five total college games due to a meniscus injury, and he wasn’t exactly at a high-profile school in Vanderbilt.

But make no mistake: Garland was an incredibly talented five-star recruit, and he went to Vanderbilt not because of a lack of offers to bigger schools, but because he wanted to stay close to home and had a personal relationship with then-head coach Bryce Drew, whose basketball camps Garland attended growing up.

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This draft does not seem to be particularly strong, at least outside of the top three, which seem to be set in stone with Zion Williamson going first, Ja Morant going second and RJ Barrett going third. That said, apparently the Knicks, who own the No. 3 pick, are doing a last minute workout with Garland and are interested in him.

Several teams are also rumored to be interested in moving up to grab him:

On the surface, if Barrett goes No. 3, it’s easy to see why Garland could slip and thus has an over/under of 5.5. The teams currently with the fourth and fifth picks, respectively are the Pelicans — who now have Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball to fill point guard minutes — and the Cavaliers — who just spent a high draft pick on Collin Sexton last year.

However, it’s not inconceivable that one of those teams could take Garland — who has perhaps the most star potential among guys outside of the top three — despite already having a point guard on the roster.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony currently has him mocked at No. 5 to the Cavs, and it’s very possible as well that a team enamored with his upside could move up to grab him, too.

Garland has a skill highly coveted right now in the NBA, and it’s something very few players in this draft have: The ability to bomb from deep and hit shots off the dribble:

He’s been comped at some points to Damian Lillard, and while I don’t think he’s the prospect Lillard was due to the latter’s superior athleticism and play-making ability, the shooting and isolation possibilities — something we just saw in the NBA Playoffs was incredibly important — will certainly intrigue teams.

The value has largely gone away on the under 5.5 at -340 (77.3%), but I’d still lean that direction and would bet it if it dipped any lower. Better value might be found betting him exactly at the fourth spot, which is at about +100 at several books. Watch to see if there’s a trade; that could likely indicate a move to get Garland.

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