Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball, the top two players selected in the 2020 NBA Draft, are co-favorites to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year at 7/2 odds, according to a recent update by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Obi Toppin from the New York Knicks gave NYC fans something to get excited about after his auspicious preseason debut, and his Rookie of the Year odds jumped.
The key to winning the Rookie of the Year is to earn a starting position, especially on a bad team where you can make an obvious impact.
Last season, Ja Morant won the Rookie of the Year as the starting point guard spot with the Memphis Grizzlies. Morant jumped out to a hot start and never looked back, averaging 17.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.
|2021 NBA ROOKIE OF YEAR ODDS|
- LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets) 7/2
- Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves) 7/2
- James Wiseman (Golden State Warriors) 13/2
- Obi Toppin (New York Knicks) 11/2
- Killian Hayes (Detroit Pistons) 8/1
- Deni Avdija (Washington Wizards) 12/1
- Tyreese Haliburton (Sacramento Kings) 14/1
- Onyeka Okongwu (Atlanta Hawks) 20/1
- Patrick Williams (Chicago Bulls) 20/1
Both Ball and Edwards are expected to start for their teams, which is part of the reason for their 7/2 odds to ship Rookie of the Year.
James Wiseman, the third overall pick, went to the Golden State Warriors. He’ll get a fire by baptism on a team that’s short one of the Splash Brothers after Klay Thompson went down for the season with a ruptured Achilles. Wiseman is 13/2 odds to win Rookie of the Year.
Obi Next MSG Star?
Toppin didn’t start, but he made the most of his debut with the New York Knicks. Fans were quickly enamored by what they saw from Toppin in the limited floor time he saw against the Detroit Pistons. He scored 11 points and hauled down seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
“It was kind of a shock as soon as Coach called my name and told me, go to the scorer’s table,” Toppin said about his debut. “I had other guys out there with me, so I wasn’t nervous or scared.”
“Very aggressive to start the game,” said new head coach Tom Thibodeau. “That’s the thing about the pro game, to read the game. The game will tell you the play to make. For his first game, I thought he did a lot of good things.”
The Knicks are the worst franchise in the NBA thanks to its owner, but fans are loyal to the players. If the crowd at MSG loves you, you’ll hear about it and they’ll cheer you on for eternity. In the 1990s, John Starks was a crowd favorite for his intensity. During that same era, Knicks fans went bonkers over Herb Williams, a journeyman center who was Patrick Ewing’s backup. The crowd at MSG went bonkers when Herb entered the game.
In 2011-12, the favorite son phenomena happened to Jeremy Lin with Linsanity. It’s crazy to think that he played in just 26 games for the Knicks that season, but he’ll go down as one of the most beloved fans in all NYC sports.
If Toppin continues to play hard, Knicks’ loyalists will instantly elevate the rookie to fan-favorite status. Right now, you can jump on the Obi bandwagon and back Toppin at 11/2 odds to win Rookie of the Year.