NBA Rookie of the Year Odds and Analysis
The start of the NBA regular season is right around the corner, and FanDuel Sportsbook has posted odds for Rookie of the Year.
Top 10 Odds to Win
- LaMelo Ball +440
- Obi Toppin +600
- Anthony Edwards +700
- James Wiseman +750
- Killian Hayes +950
- Deni Avdija +1400
- Tyrese Haliburton +2000
- Bol Bol +2700
- Isaac Okoro +2700
- Immanuel Quickley +2700
FanDuel has odds on up to 35 NBA players to win Rookie of the Year. At first glance, this is basically a name recognition award, but once the season gets underway, it’ll likely come down to which player can fill up the stat sheet the best. That means that when you’re trying to assess value in the futures market, you want to narrow your decision-making into four categories: ability, impact, minutes, and a clear path to the starting lineup.
LaMelo Ball +440
It’s unlikely that you’ll find value if you’re picking at the top of any list. LaMelo Ball was the most recognizable name to enter this year’s draft, and the media buzz around him quickly anointed him as the projected number one pick in the draft. Things didn’t quite work out as Ball fell to the Hornets with the third pick in the draft. Let that be the first lesson when deciding on the Rookie of the Year.
Obi Toppin +600
Obi Toppin is a nice player who’ll be a good contributor for the Knicks. While he’s projected as a starter for New York, there are some questions about his ceiling given that he was already 22 years old when drafted — compared to a player like Edwards, who is three years younger than him. In four preseason games, Toppin averaged 7.25 points, which put him outside the top-20 in scoring among rookies.
Anthony Edwards +700
At 19, Anthony Edwards has tremendous upside, so it makes sense why the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him. Frankly, I probably would’ve looked to trade out of the pick, but perhaps they couldn’t find any partners. It’s not automatic that the top pick in the draft will win the Rookie of the Year award. Since 1990, the first pick in the draft has won the award on 14 occasions.
James Wiseman +750
The Warriors selected James Wiseman with the second-overall pick in the draft. This was certainly a selection out of need as Wiseman can serve the role of a rebounder and rim protector for a Warriors team that likes to play around the perimeter. While Wiseman is projected as a starter for Golden State, he will not be asked to contribute much offensively. Keep in mind that in the last 15 years, there’s only been one center (Karl-Anthony Towns) to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Killian Hayes +950
Killian Hayes is a talented guard selected by the Pistons with the seventh overall pick. He grew in France, where his father played basketball professionally. At 19, Hayes has already played three years of pro ball in the Pro A league, which is the highest level of professional basketball in France. Many consider Hayes to be the best passer in the draft, and Detroit is really high on his skillset. While Hayes is not projected as a starter when the season begins, if he impresses the coaching staff, he could replace Derrick Rose as the team’s starter at point guard. This would allow Rose to reprise his role as the sixth man off the bench. Hayes is someone you want to keep an eye on early in the season.
Deni Avdija +1400
Washington fans will be thrilled if Deni Avdija has half the rookie season that Luka Doncic had. Like Hayes, Avdija already has there years of professional basketball in the Israeli Basketball Premier League and was the league MVP last year. While Avdija is not projected as a starter, he did average 10.3 points in his three preseason games. My biggest concern is whether Washington is the right fit for a young international player like Avdija.
Tyrese Haliburton +2000
This one will be quick. Haliburton is a decent guard who averaged 15.2 points in his sophomore year at Iowa State. I don’t expect him to get a ton of minutes behind De’Aaron Fox, who just signed a five-year, $163 million extension. The Kings also locked up their other starting guard, Buddy Hield, with a four-year contract extension that could reach as high as $106 million.
Bol Bol +2700
Although Bol Bol was drafted in 2019 by the Denver Nuggets, the NBA ruled that players who made their first appearance during the restart period would still be eligible for the 2020 Rookie of the Year award. With that said, he’s unlikely to see much action behind all-star center Nikola Jokic. And with Bol Bol being a center, I won’t have him on any of my tickets.
Isaac Okoro +2700
It took a while, but we finally get down to a few players who I think have a legitimate chance to capture the ROY award. Isaac Okoro is a dynamic player out of Auburn that the Cleveland Cavaliers selected with the fifth overall pick. At 19, Okoro has as much upside as any player in the draft. Despite only playing one season at Auburn and averaging 12.9 points a game, NBA scouts still held him in the highest regard. Cleveland had the second-fewest wins (19) in the entire league last season, and they don’t have any choice except to start the young rookie. Okoro was one of the few rookies to feature in all four preseason games. He averaged 11.3 points and 27.5 minutes per game. Perhaps what’s most impressive is his 5-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. Okoro ticks all the boxes for a potential ROY, and I think he’s a steal at +2700.
Immanuel Quickley +2700
Immanuel Quickley should have plenty of eyes playing in New York. It’s likely that basketball fans will tune in to check out Obi Toppin but leave with Quickley in the forefront of their minds. The 6’3 guard averaged 16.1 points in his sophomore year at Kentucky and shot 42.8% beyond the arc. Quickley went from an 83% free throw shooter his freshman year to a 92% shooter the year after. This bodes tremendously well for his progression as a shooter in the NBA. Quickley played off the ball at Kentucky due to their three-guard lineup, but he also has the ability to be the point guard floor general. In his first preseason start, he dropped 22 points and dished out five assists, and in three preseason games, he averaged 11 points per game and led all rookies with 4.3 assists per game. Quickley’s play could force head coach Tom Thibodeau to insert him in the starting lineup earlier than expected.
Honorable Mention: Cole Anthony +2700