Week 5 Update — We’re mid-way through the fifth week of the 2020-21 NBA season and the Rookie of the Year race remains relatively unchanged. Ball took a huge jump last week after his triple-double and continued production off the bench. Now, the line on him to win ROTY has dropped down a bit after being up at north of -200 last week.
There really haven’t been many rookies making waves early on in the season other than Ball and maybe a little of Tyrese Haliburton. The one player who has stuck out is for the New York Knicks ... but it isn’t Obi Toppin. Immanuel Quickley always had sleeper potential in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s showing why so many teams need to focus more of their attention on former Kentucky basketball players.
Quickley is getting more minutes off the bench, which is an accomplishment and a half under Tom Thibodeau, who notoriously doesn’t like playing younger players. Quickley has scored in double figures in four straight games, including a career-high 23 points in 28 minutes in a loss to the Cavaliers last week. He’s been the biggest riser in the rookie rankings this installment and is a player to watch moving forward.
Week 4 Update — It’s LaMelo Ball’s Rookie of the Year to win or lose. After a surge up in the odds, Ball is the favorite by a wide margin to win Rookie of the Year in 2020-21 at -134. The Hornets rookie continues to come off the bench but at this point, it doesn’t matter. He’s seeing big minutes in crunch time and is putting up stupid stat lines.
Last week, Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double in a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. He posted 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. While Ball’s offensive game still needs some work, he’s a bonafide playmaker. This month, Ball is averaging 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 28.3 minutes per game off the bench.
Not only are the statistics looking nutty, but Ball has the Hornets winning basketball games! Charlotte enters Wednesday on a four-game winning streak and at 6-5 in the East, the Hornets would be in playoff position if the season ended. It isn’t all Ball — give some credit to Gordon Hayward. Still, Ball’s love of the game is infectious and is rubbing off on his teammates, who are all having much more fun around him.
We’re about mid-way through the third week of the 2020-21 NBA season and the Rookie of the Year race has been pretty tight. We haven’t seen any one player separate himself from the pack in what we considered a weak draft class. Still, somebody is going to have to win 2021 Rookie of the Year and so far there are a few names from the top of the draft who are standing out. Here we’re going to provide updated top 15 rookie rankings and then give some analysis.
We had James Wiseman (11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds per game) at the top of these rankings last week heading into Week 2. With the return of Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors have eased back on his minutes the past three games. Wiseman has played under 20 minutes in two of the past three and it may not be long until the Dubs decide to start Green at center in certain situations. If that’s the case, Wiseman’s ROTY campaign won’t be hurt too much given the competition. Still, he’ll need to get some help from coach Steve Kerr and get a bump in minutes.
Edwards (13.9 points per game) is building the most compelling case for ROTY, albeit it isn’t the most exciting. He’s coming off the bench but playing around 25 minutes per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Edwards has scored in double figures in six of seven games this season. Injuries have been a factor with Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined, but Minny is clearly trying to get Edwards involved early. The back court is crowded with D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley, but that hasn’t stopped Edwards from getting playing time.
Two dark horse ROTY candidates include Tyrese Haliburton (10.6 points, 4.4 assists per game) of the Sacramento Kings and Payton Pritchard (8.6 points, 3.1 assists per game) of the Boston Celtics. Haliburton is on track to return from a wrist injury that’s held him out the past week. Pritchard has been one of the best bench players for Boston early on and is getting increased run with Marcus Smart and Jeff Teague banged up. Pritchard would have an outside shot at ROTY if these injuries persisted or if he got into the starting lineup full-time. Otherwise it’s still sort of a stretch.
2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year Rankings
|Player||Team||ROTY Odds||Updated Stats on 1/19|
|Player||Team||ROTY Odds||Updated Stats on 1/19|
|LaMelo Ball||Hornets||-177||11.8 pts, 6.8 rebs, 6.1 asts|
|Tyrese Haliburton||Kings||+350||11.1 pts, 2.8 rebs, 5.3 asts|
|James Wiseman||Warriors||+800||10.7 pts, 6.0 rebs, 1.5 blks|
|Anthony Edwards||Timberwolves||+1000||12.5 pts, 3.1 rebs, 1.9 asts|
|Tyrese Maxey||Sixers||+3300||11.4 pts, 2.5 rebs, 2.4 asts|
|Patrick Williams (inj)||Bulls||+8000||10.2 pts, 3.8 rebs, 1.1 asts|
|Cole Anthony||Magic||+2000||10.1 pts, 4.3 rebs, 3.3 asts|
|Obi Toppin||Knicks||+5000||5.0 pts, 2.6 rebs|
|Immanuel Quickley||Knicks||+3300||10.0 pts, 2.6 asts|
|Deni Avdija||Wizards||+8000||7.0 pts, 4.0 rebs, 2.2 asts|
|Saddiq Bey||Pistons||+5000||9.2 pts, 3.8 rebs|
|Isaac Okoro||Cavaliers||+8000||8.6 pts, 2.1 rebs, 2.3 asts|
|Payton Pritchard||Celtics||+5000||8.8 pts, 2.8 rebs, 2.8 asts|
|Desmond Bane||Grizzlies||+10000||8.6 pts, 2.8 rebs|
|Precious Achiuwa||Heat||+10000||8.2 pts, 5.7 rebs|
|Killian Hayes (inj)||Pistons||+15000|
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