The 2021-22 NBA season has been underway for nearly two weeks. While there are still a lot of games left on the schedule, that hasn’t stopped people from looking ahead to the award races. One of the trophies up for grabs will be the NBA Rookie of the Year award. We’ve seen a lot of talented rookies start their careers this year, however, only one can be seen as the best.
As of November 1, Houston Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green is Bovada’s favorite to be named NBA Rookie of the Year at +300 odds.
The Rockets entered the season with a shallow talent pool, so it was expected that Green would see a lot of work in his first year. That’s been true so far as he’s averaged nearly 32 minutes per game on the court. While he still has a lot to learn, Green has averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game after his first six contests. Even though he hasn’t had many noteworthy performances, he did show his potential when he dropped a career-high 30 points against the Boston Celtics a bit over a week ago.
If Green wants to keep leading the NBA Rookie of the Year race, he needs to start hitting more of his shots. Yes, the season is still young, but his .337/.286/.667 shooting splits leave a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, he’s only 19 years old and he’ll have a lot of time to develop at his current place. Rookies are bound to make mistakes and as long as Green learns from his, the only direction to go is up.
2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Monday, November 1
- Jalen Green (+300)
- Scottie Barnes (+400)
- Cade Cunningham (+450)
- Evan Mobley (+550)
- Chris Duarte (+800)
- Josh Giddey (+1200)
- Jalen Suggs (+1600)
- Davion Mitchell (+2000)
- Alperen Sengun (+2500)
- Franz Wagner (+4000)
- Trey Murphy (+5000)
The complete odds list is available at Bovada.lv.
Barnes Sits Second in ROTY Race
There was some backlash when the Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes fourth overall at the 2021 NBA Draft, with others hoping they’d select a guard like Jalen Suggs (+1600). Fortunately, the 6-foot-9 power forward has been making people eat their words so far and now has the second-best odds (+400) to be named NBA Rookie of the Year.
Barnes has been so good this season that people are surprised that he isn’t leading the race. The 20-year-old is averaging 18.1 PTS/8.9 REB/2.0 AST through the Raptors’ first seven games of the season. He’s also shooting .551 from the field, making him the seventh player since 1986 to average 18+ points, 8+ rebounds and a 50% field goal rating through his first seven games.
Like Green, Barnes has played a big role with his team, averaging nearly 36 minutes per game. Keeping that in mind, Toronto will lean on him for the remaining 75 games of the season. He still has some areas to improve on, but he has a good chance of challenging for the NBA Rookie of the Year award as long as he continues playing as well as he has.
Cade Cunningham NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham missed his team’s preseason and first four regular season games with a sprained ankle. Fortunately, the 2021 first overall pick finally made his professional debut on Friday and now has the third-best odds (+450) to be named NBA Rookie of the Year.
Those odds are based on the potential he showed during his college days because Cunningham’s NBA debut was underwhelming. While the Pistons did beat the Orlando Magic, 110-103, he finished with two points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block in 19 minutes of action. Everyone’s entitled to a “bad” game, so it’ll be interesting to see how he rebounds from the performance.
Cunningham’s ankle injury could be a concern for the future. The Pistons let him sit out of Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, citing “rest” as the reason. It was done out of precaution, although, it’s understandable if some people are concerned whether or not the injury will linger throughout the season. If that’s the case, it might be tough for Cunningham to take home NBA Rookie of the Year honors.