While this year’s rookie class didn’t have the hype around them compared to last year’s, there are some names that should be around the league for years to come. LaMelo Ball is one of the hot topic names, of course, from the family that continues to make headlines on and off the court. James Wiseman landing in Golden State gives him a great chance for minutes and to have a good core of players around him. DraftKings Sportsbook has Rookie of the Year odds up, with Wiseman and Anthony Edwards as the early favorites.
Prior ROY Winners
Three out of the past five winners have been guards, but there is no rhyme or reason to a position having the edge over a larger sample. What you do need to have is scoring. Outside of Malcolm Brogdon, no winner has averaged less than 15 points per game in the last ten years. You have to go all the way back to 2003 when Amare Stoudemire won, where he had 13.5 points per game. Now the key for winners continues to be getting minutes. When you can walk into 28+ minutes per game as a rookie, your odds are going to improve to win the award. Voters will look at production and impact while on the court, and if you are playing 15 minutes off the bench, you will be at a major disadvantage.
- Ja Morant (MEM)
- Luka Doncic (DAL
- Ben Simmons (PHI)
- Malcolm Brogdon (MIL)
- Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)
Top Three Picks
James Wiseman (+250) is your frontrunner at the moment. He was taken by the Warriors and looks good out of the gates. Golden State has not used a traditional center in some time, but with the roster in the shape that it is in, Wiseman will see plenty of minutes at the five. Getting 25+ minutes a night will be an advantage for Wiseman. If he can produce around 14-15 points per game and hold his own on the glass and defensive end, it is easy to see why he is the favorite. The Warriors are not really in a position where they will be competing at a high end, so helping Wiseman adjust to the NBA level will be high on the list of priorities. Wiseman has a chance to contribute across the board, and the defensive numbers would give him another advantage over the other names below.
Minnesota had the number one overall pick this year, and there wasn’t a slam-dunk unanimous option, but they went with Anthony Edwards (+350) out of Georgia. Edwards might not start, but he should get plenty of minutes off the bench to make an impact. There are not many bodies he would need to compete with for usage on the second unit, so this is actually a plus for his ROY odds. Out of the gates, we have already seen him start firing. His consistency was in question coming out of the draft, and we shouldn’t expect him to have great shooting numbers in his rookie year. However, you can still win with lackluster efficiency numbers if the points are up, and you can add some peripheral stats. MCW and Damian Lillard both won the award and shot less than 43%.
Lamelo Ball (+700) might have the highest ceiling of the three as the lengthy guard can be a strong playmaker. Minutes will be tougher to come by out of the three here, and he would likely need a hot stretch or injury to really assert himself into the rotation. Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham are both ahead of him, and they still have names like Cody Martin and Malik Monk that will get some run as well. Ball would really need to excel in the assist department to get a leg up in this race. He should be able to bring down above average rebound numbers as well, but scoring will be the big question mark given his shot has never been a stable one.
Looking at some deeper rookies, rotations will be key in where you can find a value that makes sense. Killian Hayes was a favorite coming out of the draft, but his role in Detroit isn’t quite in place yet with so much usage going to other bodies at the moment. That might change as the season goes on, and I would keep an eye on him. At the moment, Tyrese Haliburton (+1400) is a name I like a lot. He is coming off the bench behind Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox but is averaging 27 minutes per game this season. Haliburton was someone I thought would go a bit earlier but fell to the Kings at 12. He is a strong shooter and can move the ball around offensively. Look for his assist numbers to be among the best for rookies this season and have an efficient shooting percentage.
The Patrick Williams (+3300) pick for Chicago was questioned by most, but he has a ton of upside in his career. Chicago has already locked him into the starting role, and he should see the upper 20s in minutes for the season. He is a strong defensive player but needs to work offensively. If he can put together a good shooting season and have off the chart defensive numbers, he could be a sneaky option for the award if names in front of him fall off. Williams around 13-14 points per game would get him into the conversation, and he will have a chance to get there in this role.
Washington had an excellent pick, with Deni Avidija (+2500) going 9th overall. Avidija is an excellent shooter, and this is a team that fits well for him, with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook being featured options. The volume for shots won’t be as high, but if he can average over a steal per game and notch a couple of boards and assists per game, he will be a top-eight option for this award. He will be in the starting lineup playing over 25 minutes per game, and that is what we want.