The NBA Draft has finally arrived with coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN. After months of speculation, scouting, and analysis, fans will finally see who will lead the future of their franchises. While a definitive top three have settled, the rest of the draft is up in the air. Thankfully, FanDuel has us covered with a number of player props to keep us occupied. Today we continue our NBA odds series with a Taylor Hendricks NBA Draft odds prediction and pick.
Here are the NBA Draft Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Draft Odds: Taylor Hendricks Draft Position
Over 8.5: -148
Under 8.5: +112
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Who is Taylor Hendricks exactly? Taylor Hendricks is a 19-year-old wing with a 7'1″ wingspan who can jump out of the gym. He was a four-star prospect coming out of high school before spending his lone collegiate season at the University of Central Florida. At UCF, Hendricks led the team with 15.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 1.7 BPG. He showed strong efficiency as a shooter – averaging 1.8 threes per game at a 39% clip while nailing 78% of his free throws. While Hendricks only weighs 215 pounds, he has the wingspan and strength to serve as a team's primary rim protector in small doses. However, he will likely settle in as a modern 4-man thanks to his combination of defense, athleticism, and shooting.
Hendricks will immediately find a role in the league thanks to his hustle and defense – although his strong outside shooting and willingness as a screener won't hurt his chances of getting on the floor. He's also a willing rebounder who has plenty of athleticism to boot. While his offensive game is certainly a work in progress, the rest of his game certainly could make him a starter on a playoff team right away. Because of his versatility, he could go to a number of different teams, and thus fit likely won't be a huge factor in his draft position.
Why Taylor Hendricks Will Go Over 8.5
Despite his size and athleticism, Hendricks doesn't have that go-to scoring ability many teams in the top half of the lottery are looking for. You won't be able to run your offense through Hendricks – at least from day one. Thus, many teams inside the top eight may pass on him in favor of some of the more polished offensive threats.
The Dallas Mavericks (No. 10) feel like a natural fit for Hendricks given their lack of defensive playmakers. Hendricks wouldn't have to run much (if any) offensive with both Luka and Kyrie on the roster and he could benefit from the attention they draw and their strong playmaking.
The Orlando Magic (No. 6 & No. 11) also make a ton of sense for Hendricks. Although they roster a plethora of young wings, not many of them are focused on the defensive part of the game. Additionally, Hendricks' long history with the state of Florida cannot be ignored and would be a great story for the ABC broadcast. That said, the Magic possess two picks – No. 6 and No. 11. While Hendricks could be around at No. 11, they may not want to take the risk and just go for it at No. 6.
Why Taylor Hendricks Will Go Under 8.5
Hendricks' age, athleticism, and defense make him an ideal draft prospect for teams that already have their primary offensive option. That makes teams like the Pacers (No. 7), Magic (No. 6), and Pistons (No. 5) all natural fits for him. Although he doesn't project as a go-to option on offense, he still led UCF in scoring last year, and given his age and strong shooting touch it isn't out of the question he could take a leap on offense.
The easiest spot to see him going inside the top eight is to the Indiana Pacers at No. 7. The Pacers have a great young core led by Tyrese Haliburton and Benedict Mathurin and they already have an established center in Myles Turner. Hendricks would be a natural fit next to Turner and he would be able to ease into an offensive role thanks to Haliburton's elite playmaking.
The Detroit Pistons (No. 5) also make a lot of sense for Hendricks. The Pistons just drafted guards in the top five each of the last two seasons. Both Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey showed a ton of promise but it's clear they'll need space on offense and help on defense to make that fit work long-term.
Final Taylor Hendricks NBA Draft Prediction & Pick
Outside of the top three, I could see anyone going pick No. 4. While I'm not sure Hendricks will go that far, his fits with Detroit, Indiana, and Orlando make me confident he won't fall past No. 8 overall.
Final Taylor Hendricks NBA Draft Prediction & Pick: Under 8.5 (+112)