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Ball Favored to Win NBA Rookie of Year

Ball Favored to Win NBA Rookie of Year - Bovada Sportsbook

Lonzo Ball may not have been selected with the top overall pick in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, but that has not stopped him from becoming the +250 favorite to take home Rookie of the Year honors after his first year in the league.

The former UCLA star was picked second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and is viewed as the cornerstone of the franchise, although he will have to live up to the hype first.

Ball’s father LaVar has put pressure on his son and virtually guaranteed he would be playing for his hometown Lakers, who traded former first-round lottery pick D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets to pave the way for Lonzo. Los Angeles finished 26-56 last season and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

However, the competition for Rookie of the Year will have an added twist in 2017 with 2016 top overall pick Ben Simmons also eligible for the award. Simmons missed last season for the Philadelphia 76ers due to a foot injury, and he is listed as the +300 second choice to win Rookie of the Year.

The 20-year-old Australian has also reportedly grown two inches since being drafted, giving the 76ers a top-notch frontcourt prospect.

 

Fultz Sits Third on NBA Rookie Odds

But Simmons will be competing with one of his own teammates for Rookie of the Year as well, with Philadelphia taking former Washington guard Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall last week.

The 76ers traded up from the No. 3 spot to acquire the top pick from the Boston Celtics, and Fultz may have some value as the +550 third choice on the board. Philly ended up 28-54 last season and has not made the playoffs since 2011-12.

Other top contenders to win NBA Rookie of the Year include De’Aaron Fox (+700) of the Sacramento Kings, Dennis Smith (+700) of the Dallas Mavericks and Malik Monk (+900) of the Charlotte Hornets.

Fox and Monk both left Kentucky after one season, with the latter going into a better situation in Charlotte. Smith was arguably the best pure point guard in the draft, leading the ACC in assists for North Carolina State as a freshman.

 

*Odds as of June 27, 2017

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