Making the adjustment to the NBA when you’re playing overseas or in college is always tricky. Besides being forced to bulk up and get stronger physically, the mental demands of being an NBA player can also take a toll on even the most confident athlete.
But judging by what we’ve seen thus far in the young season, it’s pretty safe to say that some young players are more than ready to embrace the challenge. As a matter of fact, some betting sites such as WynnBET Michigan already have some interesting odds regarding the Rookie of the Year award.
Obviously, winning Rookie of the Year isn’t always a predictor of success around the NBA, but there’s no better way to start your career than letting everybody know that you’re the best player in your class. That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at the top 5 biggest favorites to win the 2021/22 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
5. Josh Giddey (+1000)
Josh Giddey was a bit of a head-scratching pick for some people, as the Oklahoma City Thunder already had a young, promising point guard in Theo Maledon. Moreover, some thought he was still extremely raw and would struggle to get by early in his career.
But thus far, the Australian guard has fared pretty well for the new-look Thunder. He’s averaged 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. He might be a long shot to win the award but he’s been way better than anticipated thus far.
4. Evan Mobley (+750)
Some analysts thought that Evan Mobley had the higher ceiling in his class. Besides being a lockdown defender at the college level, he flashed a nice offensive upside with some post moves, solid footwork, and even shooting range.
Mobley has been outstanding and is leading the league in contested shots. He’s already an impactful defender and is logging plenty of minutes even despite the Cavaliers’ logjam at his position. He’s averaging 13.6 points 8.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.
3. Scottie Barnes (+600)
Scottie Barnes was one of the most intriguing picks of the Draft. He was interesting enough to make the Toronto Raptors pass on Jalen Suggs and take him with the fourth-overall pick, and so far it’s paid off big time for them.
Barnes has already shown his ability to become an efficient shooter and an impactful defender, averaging 17.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He can play and guard both forward spots and looks like a two-way stud in the making.
2. Cade Cunningham (+410)
Even though he has yet to make his official debut, Cade Cunningham is still the biggest entertainer when it comes to this Draft class. He has the most complete and versatile skill set and could become a franchise player nearly right away.
Cunningham has drawn comparisons to Grant Hill due to his combination of size, playmaking, rebounding, and scoring skills. Hopefully, unlike Hill, he’ll be able to stay on the court and avoid injury.
1. Jalen Green (+240)
Jalen Green isn’t your average rookie. He was already used to going against pros by spending one year in the G-League in an unprecedented move, and it shows on his body strength, poise, and the way he handles himself around the league.
Green has the potential to be a 27+ points-per-game kind of scorer and the Houston Rockets will give him a long leash and allow him to grow through his mistakes. Thus far, he’s averaging 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, but those numbers will only trend up as the season goes by, as he proved with a 30-point explosion in just his 3rd game in the league.