The 2020 NBA Draft took place on Wednesday night at ESPN, so we’ve got a brand new crop of rookies to pine over in the upcoming season. The Charlotte Hornets selected guard LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick in the draft. We’re going to take a look at his odds to win NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2020-21 season.
NBA Rookie of the Year odds
LaMelo Ball: +400
At one point last week, there was growing belief that Ball would go No. 1 overall to the T-Wolves. Instead, he fell into the Hornets’ lap at No. 3. For most of the offseason, Ball was considered to be the best pure prospect in the 2020 draft. He played professionally in Australia last season, so adjusting to the NBA game shouldn’t be an issue. Ball has the type of size (6’8”) at the point guard position that is becoming more and more common in today’s game. He can make plays, has great vision and is a fantastic finisher around the rim.
For those reasons, Ball has the best odds to win Rookie of the Year. It also helps that the Hornets might have the least talented roster in the NBA. Charlotte’s core is comprised of Devonte’ Graham, Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington and Cody Martin. Graham emerged last season out of nowhere and was a borderline All-Star. Rozier was signed to a bloated contract, though statistically he had a decent season. Washington was one of the better rookie forwards and has some real upside. Bridges also improved off his rookie season.
So the way the Hornets’ roster could shake out is a three-guard starting 5 with Graham, Rozier and Ball. Washington starts at PF and Cody Zeller is the center by default. Both Graham and Rozier can play off the ball since both are decent 3-point shooters. Ball should be running the offense by mid-season full-time. If that’s the case, he should get the usage and minutes to thrive.
With that said, there are rookies on better teams who also have a clear track to playing time. I think it makes sense for Ball to be the favorite to win ROTY but in a draft with so much uncertainty, it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody obscure emerges and wins the award. If I’m shopping for odds on DraftKings Sportsbook for ROTY, I’m looking to throw some darts on guys with worse odds. Overall, it may be best to wait and see how training camp and preseason games go before placing some ROTY bets.
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