NBA Player Awards – Rookie of the Year
With the 2022 NBA Draft now consigned to history, it is the perfect time to look at the early contenders for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Before the draft began on Thursday, Paolo Banchero was the betting favourite to win the award, and he justified that confidence by being the number one pick for the Magic.
Scottie Barnes was named the NBA Rookie of the Year last season. The Raptors power forward finished his first year campaign averaging 15.3 points per game to go along with 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Cleveland Cavalier Evan Mobley was the favourite at the start of the year but eventually came up short.
Other recent winners include superstars Ja Morant, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. But who’s in with a shot this time around? We review the leading contenders and their odds below…
Rookie of the Year Contenders
Paolo Banchero 3/1
Paolo Banchero was the surprise number one pick for the Orlando Magic. The former Duke standout was projected to be picked third, but is the betting favourite following the draft. If Banchero were to win the award, he would be the first Magic player to do so since Mike Miller over twenty years ago.
The 19-year-old forward is sure to feature heavily next season as part of a Magic squad that is still rebuilding. He was one of the best players in college basketball last season, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Orlando has a lot of talented young players on the roster, but Banchero could easily lead them in scoring, which would go a long way to see him leading the Rookie of the Year voting. Back Banchero for the Rookie of the Year award with Bet365.
Jabari Smith Jr 7/2
With the third pick in the 2022 NBA draft, the Rockets selected Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr in an unexpected turn of events. Smith was widely expected to be the number one pick of the Orlando Magic, but they chose Banchero instead. Smith Jr will likely go straight into Houston’s starting line-up and is sure to get a lot of touches in his rookie season.
He has one of the most impressive jump shots of any player in years. In this day and age where the three-point shot is so important, his blistering 42% from deep behind the line is a big standout in this, his lone season with the Tigers. He managed an excellent 16.9 points per contest with Auburn, and if he continues to shoot the lights out in the NBA, then he will be hard to ignore.
Chet Holmgren 9/2
Last year, Chet Holmgren was widely tipped to be the first overall pick in this draft. Things have changed a little since, but he’s still a very special talent who has all the attributes to take the league by storm.
At 7’0″ and 195 pounds, he is impossibly long and skinny, to the point of wondering whether his body has any muscle at all. In all likelihood it will take him a couple of years to really thrive in the NBA once he fills out.
The number two pick has a unique skill set which will make him one of the most entertaining of the new batch of players, but it might be his second season where we see him truly flourish. Join SportNation now and enjoy a free £5 bet every week!
Jaden Ivey 5/1
On paper it looks like the Pistons struck gold by landing Jaden Ivey at pick number five in Thursday night’s draft. It’s not every year that a prospect of Ivey’s calibre falls that far down the list, but this was an exceptional year.
The Purdue Boilermakers graduate promises to be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. The sophomore standout averaged 17.3 points and 3.1 assists this past season and carried the majority of his team’s offense on his back as the primary ball-handler.
There is no question that Ivey seamlessly fits alongside the young core that Troy Weaver has carefully constructed in Detroit. With the departure of leading scorer Jerami Grant, there will be plenty of opportunities for Ivey to get amongst the points, and when it comes to skill, Ivey’s attributes speak for themselves. Get the best odds on Jaden Ivey at Bet Dukes.
Keegan Murray 8/1
A Naismith Award finalist as college basketball’s best player this past season, Keegan Murray offers a great combination of experience and skill.
The top of the draft is typically populated by teenage prospects, but Murray will turn 22 before his rookie year begins, which might give him the extra know-how needed to thrive at NBA level.
He saw extensive action as a freshman before taking over a lead role this past season. Of the 35 games the 6-foot-8 forward played for the Iowa Hawkeyes as a sophomore, he scored 20-plus points on 26 occasions.
Murray’s game translates extremely well to the next level, and he should make an immediate impact in Sacramento. The Kings extended their postseason drought last season to 17 years, but the arrival of Murray is sure to give them a much needed boost.
Bennedict Mathurin 12/1
The Pacers have added another outstanding young player to their rebuild in the draft with the selection of Bennedict Mathurin. He enters into a situation where he should be productive, playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton, who was one of the leading assist providers in the league last season.
Mathurin is athletic and can score in multiple ways on the floor, averaging 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game with the Arizona Wildcats last year. If Indiana can trade Malcolm Brogdon, that would open up a starting spot for him alongside Haliburton. Head coach Rick Carlisle has a history of giving a lot of game time to his rookie players, so he is in with a good outside chance of contending for the award. Bet £10 and get a £10 free bet with BetStorm.
Dyson Daniels 15/1
19-year-old Dyson Daniels is another outsider to consider, as he is stepping into a positive situation in New Orleans.
He is joining a Pelicans side who are sure to be in the playoff picture, and his new side are not under the pressure to bring him along too quickly. Head coach Willie Green will not be afraid to play the young guard, as he gave game time to fellow rookies Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado, and Trey Murphy III in the recent playoffs.
Daniels should thrive immediately on defence, as he can defend multiple spots on the floor. If he can score a decent number of points, and move himself up to a starting position, then Daniels has a shot. Back outsider Dyson Daniels for the crown with BetDuel.
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With the 2022 NBA Draft now consigned to history, it is the perfect time to look at the early contenders for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Before the draft began on Thursday, Paolo Banchero was the betting favourite to win the award, and he justified that confidence by being the number one…
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