With the NBA draft a few months behind us and the free agency period coming to a close, let’s take a look at some of the favorites to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. When the season starts our NBA betting odds page features live point spreads on every game on the board. Bookmark it!
All odds according to Pinnacle.
John Wall (+110) – It’s not a surprise that Wall is the favorite to take the award. The number one pick out of Kentucky has the best talent in the rookie class, and it helps to know that the award has been won by a guard four out of the past five years. Wall will certainly receive plenty of playing time and has the potential to post similar stats to those that Derrick Rose had in his rookie season. And after winning the Most Outstanding Player award in summer league, Wall is off to a good start. But there are some red flags. Since 2000, only two number one picks have gone on to win ROY (Rose and LeBron James). It’ll also be interesting to see how the backcourt of Wall and Gilbert Arenas plays together. Wall has the best chance to win the award, given his talent and young big-men teammates (Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee), but should not be considered a lock.
Blake Griffin (+301) – After going down with an injury and missing the 2009-10 campaign, it’s easy to forget just how dominating Griffin was in his days at Oklahoma. Griffin will get plenty of minutes on this Clippers team and should benefit from veteran point guard Baron Davis. If healthy, it’s reasonable to expect him to put 10-10, 15-10, or even 20-10 numbers. But his health is a concern. After missing an entire season due to injury, it’s hard to tell how dependable Griffin will be. Can he put his injury behind him and become that athletic freak we remember? Or will he become the next Greg Oden?
Evan Turner (+900) – Turner dominated in his junior year at Ohio State, averaging 20.4 points a contest as the team’s primary ball handler. But with the 76ers, Turner will have to adjust to more of a off-the-ball role. It’ll be interesting to see how the team handles Turner and Andre Iguodala, since they are similar players (though Turner is not as athletic). Turner should get a lot of playing time switching between the shooting guard and small forward positions. Turner won’t have trouble scoring, as he shot 52 percent from the field last season and got to the free throw line nearly six times a game. Since he won’t be bringing the ball up the court, the number of turnovers he commits will decrease (4.4 per game), but so will his assists (6.0 per game.) Turner seems like the least likely favorite to put up unbelievable numbers, but he also seems the least likely to be a bust making him a sucker NBA pick to win the award.
DeMarcus Cousins (+990)- Cousins absolutely tore it up in his last four games of summer league, averaging nearly 18 points and 12 rebounds a game. Cousins is expected to receive plenty of playing time on this young Kings team. Having last year’s Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans running the point certainly helps too. Cousins has the ability to become of the league’s better rebounders/shot blockers. It’s widely known that Cousins has had behavioral issues in the past and that could become a factor, especially on such a young team. Even still, Cousins should be able to put up similar or better numbers to those that Emeka Okafor had when he won the award in the 2004-05 season.