Last season’s rookie of the year race seemed predetermined as Karl Antony-Towns was just that good and he made everyone else in his classic look like rookies. While this year’s class isn’t quite as cut and dried as last year’s: it’s easy to imagine this one going one of three ways.
The top odds currently go to Kris Dunn at +350. This is an interesting one from 5Dimes as he is likely to get some minutes for the Timberwolves this season, but he is clearly behind Ricky Rubio on the depth chart and Rubio is unlikely to give up that position. Kris Dunn is definitely an intriguing prospect, but rookie point guards always have a hard time transitioning and there is nothing about him that makes it seem like he’ll be any different.
Buddy Hield +375 comes in next and this is a guy that everyone loves. The words “NBA ready” surrounded him all offseason and he’s expected to not need much of an adjustment to the NBA. I’m not so sure about that and at the end of the day, he was still a senior in college last year while most of these players were freshmen. Maybe he’s just as good as he’ll ever be right now.
The top prospects for rookie of the year seem to be the top two picks and Joel Embiid.
Ben Simmons +400 will definitely get playing time for the 76ers this season and get multiple opportunities to prove himself. He is the great hope for the Sixers and he’ll get a chance to fill up the scoresheet similarly to the way that Michael Carter-Williams did when he was Rookie of the Year with Philadelphia. I could definitely see that type of season for him.
Brandon Ingram +550 is another good choice. The same can be said about him with the Lakers as he’ll definitely get playing time this year and Luke Walton’s offense looks to be a lot of fun. He doesn’t have to have a great rookie year to win this as this should be a weak year for immediate impact rookies.
My favorite pick though is Joel Embiid at +600. If this guy is halfway as good as everyone has been saying he is, he’ll be the second the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon. A 7-footer with the skills of a guard. A completely unguardable offensive player who cleans up the boards and blocks shots. If he is anywhere close to what people say to him and manages to stay healthy then he is a shoo-in for this award.
Of course, the Celtics fans will tell you that Jaylen Brown +3000 is the best rookie out there. This is definitely an open year, but I think that one of the big three will take it.
NBA Rookie of the Year odds at 5Dimes
- Kris Dunn +350
- Buddy Hield +375
- Ben Simmons +400
- Brandon Ingram +550
- Joel Embiid +600
- Denzel Valentine +1600
- Jamal Murray +2000
- Thon Maker +2000
- Wade Baldwin +2500
- Marquese Chriss +2500
- Jaylen Brown +3000
- Caris Levert +3500
- Domantas Sabonis +3500
- Dragan Bender +3500
- Malachi Richardson +4000
- Jakob Poeltl +4000
- Taurean Prince +4000