We’re nearly a quarter of the way into the 2021-22 NBA season and a lot has happened so far. While we’ve seen a lot of veterans dominating, we’ve also seen the emergence of some very promising rookies. While a lot of the first-year players are talented, only one can be named this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year.
At the beginning of November, Houston Rockets shooting guard Jalen Green was Bovada’s +300 favorite to win the award. Those odds have since shifted to +500, leaving the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes as the new +200 favorite.
When the Raptors selected Barnes fourth overall, some wondered if they were making a mistake by drafting the Florida State product. Nevertheless, things have worked out quite well. Barnes’ 8.4 rebounds per game are the most among first-year players, while his 14.6 points per game are also tied for the rookie lead. He’s also averaging 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals as well.
Another impressive thing about the NBA Rookie of the Year favorite is that he’s started in each of his 16 games played so far, averaging nearly 35 minutes played per game. Usually, it can take a rookie a while to build themselves up for that role, but not Barnes. He’s even been getting praise from some of basketball’s best players, such as Kevin Durant, who complimented the rookie on his “his IQ for the game, his length, his enthusiasm for the game.”
Even if this year’s Raptors team doesn’t find much overall success, Barnes should remain in the ROTY race as long as his role stays the same in Toronto.
Updated 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Monday, November 22
- Scottie Barnes (+200)
- Cade Cunningham (+250)
- Evan Mobley (+275)
- Jalen Green (+500)
- Josh Giddey (+1600)
- Chris Duarte (+2000)
- Franz Wagner (+2800)
- Jalen Suggs (+3000)
- Davion Mitchell (+4500)
- Alperen Sengun (+8000)
- Nah’Shon Hyland (+8000)
The complete odds list is available at Bovada.lv.
Cade Cunningham NBA ROTY Odds
After injuries caused him to miss the Detroit Pistons’ start to the season, Cade Cunningham owns the second-best odds (+250) to be named 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year.
This year’s first overall election started off slowly, however, he’s begun to heat up as of late. He’s averaging an impressive 16.3 PTS/6.8 REB/5.1 AST in his last nine games, adding 1.7 steals per game during that stretch as well. The impressive thing is that he’s accomplishing that despite being on a lowly Pistons squad that currently ranks second-worst in the Eastern Conference with a 4-12 record.
Regardless, Cunningham has become more comfortable as time has gone on. The only real concern is that he hasn’t been shooting the ball that well. While he’s averaged nearly 15 field goal attempts this season, he’s shooting .350 from the field and .253 from three-point range. If Cunningham can figure out a way to boost those numbers while maintaining his productivity, he could make a real run for NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
Evan Mobley NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Evan Mobley is also close in the ROTY race, sitting at +275 odds to take home the award. The seven-footer hasn’t looked too out of place in Cleveland’s frontcourt to begin the year, averaging 14.6 PTS/8.0 REB/2.5 AST through 15 contests.
Mobley was even heating up over his last few games, scoring at least 16 points in five of six contests. Unfortunately, Cleveland announced on Nov. 16 that he had suffered a sprained elbow and will miss the next two to four weeks of NBA action. The good news is that missing that many games won’t automatically take him out of the Rookie of the Year race. However, he’ll still need to prove that he hasn’t lost a step when he gets back if he wants to remain in the Top 3.
Regardless, Mobley is an incredibly impressive talent and it’ll be interesting to see how he picks up when he returns to the lineup.