How Does the Return of the Rookie King Change the NBA Rookie of the Year Odds?
Rookie sensation Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans are equally hopeful he can make his long-awaited debut in January. What does this mean for bettors who have money on current NBA Rookie of the Year favorite Ja Morant? If anybody can knock Morant (NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: -250) off and retake the throne, it’s Zion (NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: +1000).
Williamson returned to practice last week and looks ready to go. Reports out of New Orleans state the team has been attempting to teach the rookie to walk and run differently as part of his rehab. Clearly, the Pelicans are playing the long game in terms of their star prospects health. With the team clearly out of the playoff picture, one has to wonder just how much Williamson will even feature in the immediate future. The question becomes, how will voters look at his overall contribution if he’s only able to play 40 games?
The Best NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
[table id=279 /]
Can Zion Close the Rookie of the Year Odds on Ja Morant in Only Half a Season?
Even if Zion were to play in every remaining Pelicans game, he would be able to appear in a total of 45 games. New Orleans has already stated their desire to sit their
prized prospect during back-to-backs, which likely limits Zion’s ceiling even further. If bettors recall in 2017, Joel Embiid was far and away the most dominant rookie in the league. However, Embiid played in only 31 games and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. The same setback could happen to Zion, even more so as he apparently is learning how to walk and run differently after his meniscus injury.
Those who still have faith can find Zion’s price online as high as +1000 to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. The 19-year-old phenom will most certainly take the entire world by storm once he steps foot on the court for a regular season game. If he can keep up his pre-season averages of 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals for 40 official games, Zion will easily walk away with Rookie of the Year trophy. Watch out world, here comes Zion.