NBA Props: Best Rookie Of the Year Bets
NBA Rookie Of The Year Props Features Fierce Competition
Ben Simmons +150
Ben Simmons was a beast during his one year with LSU, averaging 19.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG and 4.8 APG over 33 appearances. On the defensive end, he averaged almost one block per game and two steals per game, part of an all-around toolset that made him the third Australian to be drafted number one overall in the NBA, along with Andrew Bogut and Melbourne-born Kyrie Irving.
Alas, Simmons suffered a season-ending injury in training camp, breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot. Optimistic estimates for a late season return were squashed when doctors determined that Ben’s foot didn’t heal.
Now he’s healthy and two inches taller than last year, somehow growing while healing. If Simmons manages to stay healthy and improve his jump shot, he could follow the path of Giannis Antetokounmpo, another big man with elite all-around skills.
Lonzo Ball +350
Los Angeles Lakers
After winning the Summer League MVP, Lonzo Ball was considered the favorite to win rookie of the year. Unfortunately, injury dogs the point guard prior to the beginning of the season, which isn’t a good sign – the wear and tear of the NBA schedule hasn’t even begun.
Nonetheless, the tantalizing point skills he displayed in summer has made people forget about papa Lavar and the Big Baller Brand dream. Instead, basketball observers note how Lonzo elevates the play of his mates through smart, unselfish passing.
Ball isn’t the odds favorite to win, but if he manages to stay healthy, Ben Simmons likely wouldn’t be the favorite. Like Simmons, Lonzo needs to work on his jumper to unleash his full potential.
Dennis Smith +500
High-flying antics were the signature of Dennis Smith’s introduction to the NBA during summer league. The Dallas Mavericks should consider themselves lucky that their draft pick fell after the New York Knicks, who chose Frank Ntilikina instead.
If raw athleticism and finish around the rim were Smith’s only weapons, he wouldn’t be considered as one of the top three for rookie of the year. During his season with North Carolina State, Dennis averaged 18.1 PPG and 6.2 APG with a .359 3P%.
In Summer League, he put up a solid line of 17.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 4.2 APG, along with 2.2 steals per game, making the All-NBA Summer League first team. He’s also one of the few rookies to be considered a favorite for the slam dunk competition before the regular season.
Markelle Fultz +900
The Philadelphia 76ers wanted Markelle Fultz badly enough to give up an extra 1st round pick to secure the point guard, despite rumors that Jayson Tatum and Lonzo Ball were to be selected with the first and second pick.
Playing for the University of Washington Huskies, Markelle lit up the NCAA, notching 23.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.9 APG, along with a healthy .476 FG% and .413 3P%. Fultz faces a complicated situation in Philly because Simmons and Embiid demand possession of the ball.
Markelle’s free throw shooting has also been called into question, specifically his mechanics, which seem to have suffered due to an injury in his shooting shoulder. As a result, Fultz is still expected to make an impact on the NBA during his first season, but he’s less likely to stand out as rookie of the year.
Jayson Tatum +900
If pre-draft rumors were accurate, the Boston Celtics wanted Jayson Tatum all along with their first overall pick, even if Fultz was the consensus top choice. GM Danny Ainge knew that the Lakers wanted Ball, and surmised Philly’s interest in drafting Markelle. If Ainge wasn’t so crafty, Tatum may have well been the first overall pick.
He joins a Boston Celtics team already rich in elite and potential talent, which reduces the odds that Tatum will enjoy the playing time needed to collect rookie-of-the-year stats. Boston already has Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, both all-star forwards.
Jayson did everything well during his time with Duke, scoring 16.8 PPG and 7.3 RPG while averaging more than a block and a steal per game. He also shot well for a young forward, hitting the trey at a .342 clip while earning a .849 FT%. Tatum might not be the top candidate for rookie of the year, but if coach Stevens gives him enough playing time, he could be the best dark horse candidate to win the award.
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