NBA Rookie of the Year Odds Reveal Massive Shake-Up in Wake of Zion Williamson Knee Injury Timetable
By Dan Israeli
With less than 48 hours until the start of the 2019-20 NBA regular season this Tuesday, we finally saw our first major shake-up in the odds to win the NBA Rookie of the Year (ROY) Award, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Prior to this Monday, the 2019 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick and reigning Naismith Trophy winner Zion Williamson boasted a commanding lead to win this year's NBA ROY Award as the odds-on favorite for nearly four straight months.
However, after news broke that he had undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on Oct. 22, Williamson's odds to win ROY have now come back down to earth, dropping from -150 to +125.
Williamson is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks following the surgery, which could amount to as many as 30 games on the sidelines, if not more. As a result, he is looking like a much bigger risk to take home the ROY Award, as he could miss even more games down the stretch when back to full health if the New Orleans Pelicans are overly cautious with their prized new franchise cornerstone.
NBA ROY Odds
Zion's injury also blew the doors wide open for a number of other ROY candidates. Memphis Grizzlies' point guard Ja Morant nearly doubled his shot to win ROY with the second-best odds, climbing from +400 to +260. Morant is projected to start for the Grizzlies this season, and he should put a good amount of points and assists in his rookie campaign.
Following Morant is New York Knicks' shooting guard RJ Barrett (+450), who is also projected to be a starter in the upcoming season. Barrett will be playing in a deeper Knicks' rotation than what we saw from New York last season, but he is fully expected to see a lot of minutes in 2019 and could also shoulder a decent scoring load for the rebuilding Knicks.
The top-5 players by the odds are rounded out by Washington Wizards' forward Rui Hachimura (+1100) and Miami Heat shooting guard Tyler Herro (+1400), who are both projected to start for their teams to open the season. Herro has seen his odds skyrocket from +10000 to +1800, as he lit up the preseason.
As for some of the dark horses, Atlanta Hawks' small forward Cam Reddish (+6000), Charlotte Hornets' power forward PJ Washington (+10000) and Portland Trail Blazers' SF Nassir Little are all a few notable names farther down the board. At the very bottom, Denver Nuggets' center Bol Bol (+27500) currently has the longest odds to win.
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