2021 NBA Rookie Of The Year Betting
The NBA Rookie of the Year race has legitimate drama, but only because the frontrunner missed several weeks due to an injury. With LaMelo Ball on the verge of returning to action for the Charlotte Hornets, let’s see where this race exists with just a few weeks left in the regular season.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
The younger brother of Lonzo Ball might have the better NBA career. LaMelo is averaging close to 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists, a terrific stat line for a player who wasn’t even a member of the Hornets’ starting five at the beginning of this NBA season. Ball played relatively limited minutes in the early weeks of the season before he was given a chance to start and play more minutes as the season wore on. Ball has averaged 19.5 points per game in the games he started for Charlotte. The rest of the NBA Rookie of the Year field has not been as consistent as Ball, so even though the Hornets’ rookie has missed several weeks of play, he is still in first place. Anthony Edwards has to make a very strong closing argument in order to change the conversation, but Ball and the Hornets are going to make the playoffs, which is something Edwards of Minnesota and Tyrese Haliburton of the Sacramento Kings won’t be able to claim. This remains Ball’s award to lose… and there’s not much he can do to lose it.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Anthony Edwards candidacy is based on extremely strong performances in the second half of the season. Edwards is averaging nearly 10 points per game more after the All-Star break compared to what he averaged before the All-Star break. He has surged in the Rookie of the Year debate and has probably eclipsed Tyrese Haliburton for second place. Edwards has become an explosive scorer, and what has helped him was the Timberwolves’ midseason coaching change. He has found new direction and inspiration after that move. Everyone around the league has seen Edwards’ transformation over the course of the season, but there is also an awareness that Edwards hasn’t been as consistent as Ball over the entire length of the season.
Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have been a bad team, much like Anthony Edwards’ Minnesota Timberwolves. This has hurt Haliburton’s argument in the Rookie of the Year race, and it also means that Edwards’ huge point-scoring games in the past two months have given him a national profile Haliburton lacks. Haliburton’s argument is that he has been more consistent than Edwards while not being injured the way Ball was… but that consistency hasn’t had many spectacular moments or overwhelming performances. Haliburton’s inability to leave an especially memorable imprint on the NBA season probably has him in third place in this chase, not second.
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
The fourth-place finisher in this competition is likely to be Quickley, who has provided bench scoring and 3-point shooting for the overachieving New York Knicks. Contributing to a playoff team in a visible media market gives Quickley the kind of boost other second-tier Rookie of the Year candidates don’t have. Quickley hasn’t been the volume scorer who can threaten for a top-two position in this race, but a top-four spot isn’t bad at all.