Paolo Banchero, the #1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, is the betting favorite at DraftKings to win the 2023 Rookie of the Year at +300 odds. Banchero sits ahead of Jabari Smith (+350), Jaden Ivey (+450), and Chet Holmgren (+475).
The 2022 NBA Draft was full of surprises this year when Banchero became the Magic’s #1 pick instead of Smith. Heading into the draft, Smith was the consensus favorite in numerous mock drafts, with Holmgren slated to go to the Oklahoma City Thunder at #2, and Banchero heading to the Houston Rockets at #3.
|2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds – Top 20|
- Paolo Banchero +300
- Jabari Smith +350
- Jaden Ivey +450
- Chet Holmgren +475
- Keegan Murray +900
- Shaedon Sharpe +1200
- Bennedict Mathurin +1200
- Dyson Daniels +1500
- Ochai Agbaji +2000
- Johnny Davis +2000
- Osumane Dieng +2500
- Jalen Williams +2500
- Mark Williams +2500
- Jalen Duren +3000
- EJ Liddell +3000
- Jeremy Sochan +3500
- Jaden Hardy +3500
- Blake Wesley +4000
- Walker Kessler +4500
- Marjon Beauchamp +5000
However, Banchero was the first pick, while Smith slid to the Rockets as the third pick. As anticipated, the Thunder selected Holmgren at #2.
#1 Pick doesn’t always win ROY
Banchero, out of Duke, is the outright favorite at +300 odds to win the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year, but historically speaking, the top pick hasn’t always won the prestigious honor in the 21st Century.
In the last 22 seasons, the #1 pick won the Rookie of the Year only seven times. Ben Simmons is the last #1 pick to achieve that feat even though he waited one season to join the NBA after being picked first in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Banchero joins a young Magic squad where he could become an impact player as a starter. However, Banchero also has to share the rock with Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, and Markelle Fultz. Fultz, who was the former #1 pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017, finally rejoined the Magic midseason after recovering from a knee injury.
Since the start of the 2000-01 season, there are several top stars who were the #1 pick in the draft and had standout first years in the NBA. That group, who all won the Rookie of the Year, includes LeBron James (2004), Derrick Rose (2009), Blake Griffin (2011), Kyrie Irving (2012), Andrew Wiggins (2015), Karl-Anthony Towns (2016), and Simmons (2018).
NBA Rookie of the Year Tip: Top 4 picks
We’ve already established that the #1 pick isn’t a lock to win Rookie of the Year. Instead, keep an eye on the top four draft picks because the Rookie of the Year has been among that group 17 times in the last 22 seasons.
Holmgren is +475 odds to win Rookie of the Year and the big man from Gonzaga will most likely start for the Thunder this season. Notable players who were drafted with the #2 pick and won the Rookie of the Year include Emeka Okafor (2005), Kevin Durant (2008), and Ja Morant (2020).
Smith slipped to #3 and he might play this upcoming season with a chip on his shoulder after sliding out of the #1 spot. However, the Rockets aren’t a great team, so who knows if Smith can find his groove with one of the bottom feeders in the league. In the last four seasons, Luka Doncic (2019) and LaMelo Ball (2021) who were each #3 picks, won Rookie of the Year.
Last season, Scottie Barnes (#4 pick in 2021 NBA Draft) from the Toronto Raptors edged out Evan Mobley (#3 pick) from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cade Cunningham (#1 pick) from the Detroit Pistons to win the 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Chris Paul (2006), Tyreke Evans (2010), and Barnes (2022) are other noteworthy #4 picks who won the Rookie of the Year, which bodes well for Keegan Murray at +900 odds. The Sacramento Kings are desperate to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006, and they selected Murray with the fourth pick because they think he’ll be a good fit with the current squad that includes De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.