The Charlotte Hornets are adjusting offensively to playing without star rookie LaMelo Ball. FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA futures odds have adjusted sharply as well. Prior to Ball suffering a broken wrist on March 20, LaMelo was the resounding favorite to win Rookie of the Year with odds of -550. How quickly things change with an injury.
Ball fell to +175 then +200 after the injury, Anthony Edwards became the favorite (-175), and Tyrese Haliburton was +500. The odds have since adjusted again.
3 Man Race for 2021 Rookie of the Year Odds
Ball had surgey on March 23rd and missed his fifth straight game on March 28. He's now +210 to win the ROY award behind Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (-125) and Sacramento Kings point guard Tyrese Haliburton (+200), making it a three-man Rookie of the Year race. Unfortunately, Ball may not be on the court again after leading all rookies in assists and steals and ranking second in scoring and is tied for second in rebounds. Ball earned Eastern Conference rookie of the month awards in January and February.
New York Knicks point guard Emmanuel Quickley (+1600) is having a fine rookie season and still competitive in the ROY race, but there is a bigger gap to Golden State Warriors big man James Wiseman (+6500).
Charlotte is playing slower, making fewer passes and getting out in transition less since Ball suffered a right hip flexor injury. The Hornets scored just 97 points in an overtime loss against the Phoenix Suns March 28 - its lowest scoring output since mid-January. In two other games without Ball, the Hornets scored just 98 and 100 points.
The Timberwolves (11-36) have the worst record in the NBA. But Anthony Edwards is playing like the first overall pick of late. He's fourth on the Timberwolves in scoring at 17.2 points per game, but the former Georgia wing is scoring 24.4 points per contest over his last 10 contest. Still, Edwards is shooting just 38.7% from the field.
Haliburton is moving up and a clear contender. He erupted for a career-high 28 points on March 22nd to start the Kings' five-game winning streak at Cleveland. Then on March 29, he had 10 assists in the win at San Antonio and he's now averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 assists per game.
But shooting efficiency should not be ignored, as Haliburton is now shooting 48.7% from the field, 42% from 3-point range and 86% from the foul line, for a True Shooting mark of 60.8%. That's best of all rookies, compared to Ball at 56.2% and Edwards’ very poor True Shooting mark of 48.3%
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