3 Dark Horse Picks to Win NBA Rookie of the Year Ahead of 2019-20 Season
By Leo Abbe-Schneider
Cover Photo: Getty Images
All of the hype surrounding the No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson sometimes overshadowed the rest of the 2019 NBA draft class. It should come as no surprise that Williamson (-150) is the favorite to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
However, the Rookie of the Year award does not always go to the most-hyped prospect. In 2016-17, Malcolm Brogdon (pick No. 36) took home the hardware, and in 2013-14, Michael Carter Williams (pick No. 11) won the award.
With that in mind, here are three dark horse picks to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
3. Cam Reddish, Forward, Atlanta Hawks (+3300)
Despite the hype he entered the year with, Cam Reddish's freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils was largely underwhelming. Reddish averaged 13.5 points per game (PPG) while shooting 35.6 percent from the field. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic about his NBA future. Reddish was dealing with a core muscle injury that required surgery at the end of the 2018-19 NCAA season, which could've hurt his play. Additionally, Reddish is a great athlete, a polished shooter and has an NBA-ready body, which could make him the perfect fit in Atlanta's perimeter-centric offense.
2. Michael Porter Jr., Forward, Denver Nuggets (+3300)
Simply put, the Denver Nuggets might have gotten the steal of the draft when they selected Michael Porter Jr. with the No. 14 pick in 2018. After being named MVP of the 2017 McDonald's All-American Game, many thought Porter had a shot at being a Top-5 pick in the NBA Draft. Unfortunately, a back injury dropped Porter's stock, and he missed the entire 2018-19 season as he recovered from surgery. If Porter is healthy, he could carve out a niche as a perimeter scorer on the Nuggets and make a run at the Rookie of the Year award.
1. Jarrett Culver, Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves, +2000
The Minnesota Timberwolves clearly liked Jarrett Culver, as they traded up from No. 11 to No. 6 to draft the Texas Tech product. Culver is a bonafide talent with good size and athleticism, and he can play on both ends of the floor. He averaged 18.5 PPG and 6.4 rebounds per game (RPG) for the Red Raiders last year, and was perhaps the most crucial part of their Final Four run. He should have plenty of opportunities to prove himself at the next level alongside Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.