Ironically Nate and myself are in Madison, Wisconsin for a meeting today. An article to appear in tomorrow's New York Times (6/27/07) but already online discusses the upcoming NBA Draft and talks in detail about Alando Tucker, the star University of Wisconsin guard looking to get drafted.
Anyway, more importantly (to us anyway :) the article also says that NBA teams should start to take notice of the power of prediction markets. Specifically the article mentions ProTrade and Inkling as two marketplaces whose predictions might be very interesting to NBA executives.
Re: Inkling, the article mentions the Lebron market on whether he will score 40 points in the NBA finals:
Take Inkling Markets. The company opened a user-driven website that allows people to set up their own markets online. The chief executive officer, Adam Siegel, pointed to a market off the site as an example of the power of casual fans.
The market was on whether Lebron James would score 40 points in the finals. While the media was embracing LeBron for his 48-point outburst against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals, fans on the site were betting against him having a repeat performance. Siegel pointed to this market as an example of a time when the average fan, and consequently the market, was out in front of the news cycle.
Indeed, as soon as the market started, the price never went above 50 and tracked steadily downward as the series wore on. Even when the series shifted to Cleveland and the media predicted a "breakout" game from the Cavs and Lebron, the market only upticked slightly but continued its downward trend overall. Good job, crowd.