The 2021-22 NBA season is approaching. We saw free agency and how that played out. So many teams have changed up their roster for this upcoming year.
Do not forget about the NBA draft. It was so long ago that it is hard to remember. Then there was the Summer League that came and went. It feels as if the rookies are no longer on the radar.
However, the talk of how the rookie class is going to fair this year is a fun conversation. The goal for most rookies is to work on their game as the season progresses. There is one prize that rookies can strive for.
That prize is the Rookie of the Year Award, which goes to the best rookie that season. Last year’s winner was LaMelo Ball. He was fantastic all season despite him being sidelined with a wrist injury.
Who can be the next LaMelo? Is this a two man race? Or is there someone lurking in the shadows?
The number one overall pick this season was held by the Detroit Pistons. They ended up taking Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State. Cunningham has all of the tools.
He is a very versatile player. His playmaking and scoring are top notch for a rookie. The Pistons are going to give him the car keys on day one.
As of right now, Cunningham is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. His odds are at +250. Cunningham has a great chance to be the first number one overall pick to win the award since Ben Simmons in 2018.
Not Too Far Behind Cunningham
The second pick in the draft is also the player with the second best chance of winning the award. The Houston Rockets took Jalen Green, who played with the newly formed G-League Ignite team. Green was great in his short stint in the G-League.
Green is a scoring machine. He can shoot the ball from deep, but also finish at the rim with ease. His athleticism is already at the top of the NBA. The Rockets are going to let this young man shoot the ball at will this season.
Green’s odds are currently at +270, which is very close to Cunningham. Green will definitely lead the rookie class in scoring. That might be the edge he needs to win the award.
The Rest of the Field
In terms of chances to win the Rookie of the Year after the top two; it becomes scarce a little bit. The next best set of odds are Jalen Suggs at +650 and Evan Mobley at +850. Both of them have a shot, but have some limitations.
Suggs is on the Orlando Magic, where they have several other young guards fighting for minutes. Suggs might have the most potential out of the group, but he is not going to be receiving a great deal of minutes.
Mobley is on a team with too many big men. The Cleveland Cavaliers have several bigs that are getting minutes, including Jarrett Allen, who they just gave a big contract to. He is going to be solid, but perhaps not have enough looks to reach the award.
The field doesn’t really extend further than that. In reality, it might be a two man race for the award.