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Way-Too-Early NBA Futures: Best Bets on DraftKings Sportsbook Following Free Agency & Summer League

Jeff Pratt takes an early dive into the futures market for the 2023 NBA season.

2023 NBA Summer League - San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NBA Summer League has officially concluded and free agency has almost wrapped up, which means rosters are virtually solidified for the upcoming season. There are still a few massive dominoes to drop, like the respective trade requests of Damian Lillard and James Harden.

That said, we have a good idea of what the 2023 NBA landscape will look like, which means it’s time to dive into the futures market.

Here are some of my best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Rookie Of The Year

Scoot Henderson (+400)

2023 NBA Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Before the Wemby fanatics down in San Antonio lose their minds, I’m not fading Victor as a player. In fact, I think he’ll put together a pretty strong rookie campaign. The problem is, I’m only expecting to see him take the floor 40-50 times during the season.

The Spurs are going to be more cautious and meticulous with Wembanyama’s load management than we have EVER seen for a rookie. While that’s not fun from a fan’s perspective, it makes sense. Why risk injuring the future of your franchise when you don’t have a shot at making any real noise this season? This year should be used as an opportunity to ease Wemby into the league.

As a result, you’re getting great value on the other talented rookies in this market right now. Out of all those guys, Scoot stands out at the top.

Henderson didn’t even play one full Summer League game, but what we saw from him during that brief outing was enough to get incredibly excited about his NBA prospects. With a Damian Lillard trade inevitably occurring over the coming months, Portland will be handing Scoot the keys to the franchise, along with the team’s other young players. While the Blazers will likely be back in contention for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, we should see plenty of jaw-dropping highlights from Henderson, along with the stats to back up a strong Rookie of the Year case.

Phoenix Suns

Under 51.5 Wins (-115)

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns - Game Four Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This type of inflated win total is exactly what I like to see as a Suns doubter.

The top-end talent on this roster is undeniable. However, Phoenix’s biggest issue during the regular season is going to be availability. Over the last two years, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker have combined to play just 313 regular season games out of a possible 492.

It’s not a matter of if, but when those guys are going to miss time. When they do, there’s not a lot of depth to steady the ship. Eric Gordon was a great pickup, but the rest of this roster lacks key rotational pieces.

It’s also worth noting that the Suns may not care about their regular season success, nor should they. Ensuring the relative health of KD, Beal and Booker should be paramount, which means we’ll likely see those guys rest on regular occasion, even if they’re healthy enough to suit up.

On top of those significant availability concerns, defense is also going to be a problem for this squad, as there aren’t a lot of plus-defenders on the roster.

There’s a good chance the Suns will be a more complete team by the time the postseason rolls around, but I think they’re going to finish closer to 40 wins than 50 this year.

Most Valuable Player

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2000)

Milwaukee Bucks v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

At the time I’m writing this article, Shai has the eleventh-best odds to win MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook. While it’s admittedly a bit of a long shot, I think he has a legitimate chance to be a major player in the race.

I’m very high on the Thunder this year. After finishing 40-42 last season and making some noise in the play-in tournament, I expect OKC to push for 47-50 wins in 2023. Gilgeous-Alexander is already putting up MVP-caliber stats — 31.4 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game in 2022 — so if that win total bump does happen, what’s stopping SGA from being a real contender for the award?

Oklahoma City boasts a young, exciting squad with elite front-office management and great coaching. This is a team people want to see succeed, led by a player who is widely beloved across the league.

There’s a sense of voter fatigue for this award, with the general sentiment being that Joel Embiid won it last season just because people didn’t want to see Nikola Jokic win for the third-straight time. As a result, I’m expecting a younger star to emerge as the leading candidate this year.

Sure, Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum make sense, but don’t sleep on Gilgeous-Alexander.

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DraftKings promoters may sometimes play on personal accounts in the games that advice is offered on. Personal views on the games and strategies above do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. DraftKings promoters may also deploy different players and strategies than what is recommended above. DraftKings promoters do not have access to any non-public information.