Zion Williamson’s Injury Leaves the NBA Rookie of the Year Race Wide Open
A torn meniscus for the already anointed “next” Chosen One was all it took for Zion to be surpassed atop his throne. There is a new leader in the clubhouse for the NBA Rookie of the Year trophy. A Canadian sits atop of the NBA Rookie of the Year totem pole. Knicks rookie swingman RJ Barrett has come out of the gate swinging and has officially overtaken Zion Williamson as the Rookie of the Year favorite.
Five games, 18.2 points per game, and 42% 3-point shooting was all it took for the 3rd overall selection in this year’s NBA draft to move past his college teammate in Rookie of the Year odds. Barrett has a patient game that has thus far drawn rave reviews, leaving Knicks fans perhaps just a little happy with their off-season. RJ is the decrepit New York franchises’ best player by a country mile, meaning he will have the green light every night to put up the gaudy numbers needed to keep his friend Zion at bay in ROY talks. Betting Barrett at +250 is fantastic value.
Make no mistake, this is far from a two-man race for the trophy. The former Duke teammates will, inevitably, vie for the title of better player for most of their careers. Yet, the rest of the 2019 Draft NBA draft class is full of talent who could easily surpass what Barrett and Williamson may accomplish this year. The Memphis Grizzlies have handed the keys to their franchise to Ja Morant, and the results so far have been fantastic.
Out Dueling Kyrie Irving on any stage is a tall task for an experienced veteran, yet Morant pulled off a stunning win for the Grizzlies in overtime. Blocking Kyrie on a key possession, and scoring the winning basket himself. Morant is smack dab in the conversation for NBA Rookie of the Year. With the opportunity to put up numbers, and the flair factor in his game, Morant makes a great bet at +300.
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When Zion Returns, Does he Overtake the NBA Rookie of the Year Odds?
Do not forget the hype surrounding Zion’s debut will be even more massive when he eventually sets foot on an NBA court for a regular season game. Surgery on Williamson’s knee is likely to keep him out until at least the middle of December, and the Pelicans are in no rush. An absolutely loaded Western Conference stands between the New Orleans franchise and a playoff birth. They’ve been fun to watch, but the Pelicans have begun the season 0-4.
Unsurprisingly, the young nucleus of talent secured in the Anthony Davis trade has been developing well in the interim. However, the team has little to no chance of making the playoffs and has to think about the health of their star player for the next decade. The team will be in no hurry to get Zion back on the floor. Thus, basketball fans may not even see Zion until 2020.
The first few weeks of teams returning to the hardwood have bred plenty of highlights for fans to consume. However, bettors may regret forgetting about the behemoth who lurks ready to destroy the NBA. Zion Williamson will return in the New Year with a vengeance. The most sought after player since Lebron James will be the talk of every sports news and radio program. Betting on Zion at +400 to win Rookie of the Year is a steal.