Now he’s also the favorite to earn the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award. But others are within striking distance of the honor as well.
— NBA (@NBA) June 24, 2022
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Holmgren went to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 2 overall pick, while Smith went third to the Houston Rockets.
|Name||Team||Rookie of the Year odds (7/1)|
|Jabari Smith Jr.||Rockets||+350|
|Shaedon Sharpe||Trail Blazers||+1300|
Paolo Banchero Has Leading Odds
A 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward, Banchero was a consensus All-American. He paced all true freshmen in scoring in the nation with 17.2 points per game and was fifth with a 47.8% field goal percentage and sixth with 7.8 rebounds per contest. He also hit on 34% of his shots from 3-point range.
Banchero has the potential to be the best rookie of his class. He can connect well beyond the 3-point arc and sink shots both off the dribble as well as off passes.
He also makes excellent decisions with the ball in his hands. In addition, he is dynamic around the paint and can beat defenders to the hoop with an explosive first step.
But his draft position doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a lock to become the Rookie of the Year. In the last 10 years, only three No. 1 overall picks have earned that honor.
Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren Have Shot at Award
Smith and Holmgren are in intriguing positions to become the Rookie of the Year.
In his one season at Auburn, Smith averaged a team-high 16.9 points per game. The consensus All-American made 43% of his shots, 42% from deep.
Smith also chipped in 7.4 rebounds, two assists, 1.1 steals and one block per game. He was fifth in the SEC in scoring and sixth in rebounding.
Smith’s offensive and defensive versatility will help him immediately. He can shoot from all locations and in different situations and seemed comfortable handling the ball.
And while Smith brings potential as a defender, Holmgren may have even more. He already has Defensive Player of the Year odds at +25000. And with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander facilitating the offense, Holmgren’s potential might be realized quickly.
At 7-feet, 195 pounds, Holmgren protected the rim well at Gonzaga. With 3.7 blocks per game, he was fourth in the nation.
The center averaged 14.1 points on 61% shooting, which led the conference while making 39% of his 3s. He also converted 72% of his free throws.
Holmgren tacked on 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 9.9 rebounds, which was first in the West Coast Conference and top 20 in the country.
The consensus All-American and WCC Defensive Player of the Year showcased stellar awareness. He knew how to position himself when the ball was out of his hands, so he was always capable of impacting a play. But Holmgren can also shoot, as proven by his numbers.
Ivey, another consensus All-American at Purdue, averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his last year of college. Cunningham’s playmaking abilities may maximize Ivey’s explosiveness right away.
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