It’s time to start analysing your favourite basketball bets and picks for the annual NBA Rookie of the Year. But before you cast your bets, you need as much insight into these players as possible.
Have a look at our list for Rookie of the Year.
The winner receives the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy and is chosen by a panel consisting of United States and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters. Every one of them gets the chance to cast their votes. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.
In addition to the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy which the winner takes home, there is also a cash bonus. But the real reward is the exposure that the rookie gets as this presents an opportunity for endorsements and broadcast distribution.
When considering your bets for NBA Rookie of the Year, it’s worth considering the positions that tend to garner the most awards year after year. Due to the changes and styles of the game, certain players that would have been highlighted in previous eras are perhaps being passed over now.
1. Point and Shooting Guards
There have been 27 winners who were point guards or shooting guards – so that makes it a good bet. This position gives players the chance to really impact the game and, with the guard-heavy NBA game setup, they are more involved than ever
Previous winners include:
The position with the most winners over the years has been the forward – possibly because it’s the most versatile. Forwards can move to the centre, double up as guards, or become pseudo-wings. So far, there have been 30 winners in this category.
Previous winners include:
The third-highest number of Rookie Award winners came from the centre position. This is easily the most dominant position in the NBA but was once a lot more of a focus than it is now. To date, there have been 15 Rookie of the Year winners as centres. 11 of the 15 winners made it into the NBA Hall of Fame.
Previous winners include:
Here’s our pick of some of next year’s top candidates to take the award.
Team: Kansas Jayhawks
Position: Shooting Guard
Agbaji was voted the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2022 as a senior in college. He led the Jayhawks to a national championship and won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award. The wing's experience and three-point shooting ability could make him an immediate impact performer at the next level and impact his ranking as an NBA rookie of the year. He could be a surprise ROY candidate depending on where he goes during the draft.
Team: Ohio State
Position: Power Forward
As a junior, E.J. averaged 20.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. As a senior, he averaged 20.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. For the second year in a row, he won Illinois Mr. Basketball. He is pro-ready. That’s the best way to describe Liddell’s game. We’re expecting him to see a similar rise up the draft board as what happened with eventual 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.
Position: Point Guard
About: On January 15, Washington scored a career-high 28 points in a 107–79 win against Tennessee. As a freshman, Washington averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. He was named to the Second Team All-SEC as well as the All Freshman Team. He is quick off the dribble and ability to blow past the defender should help him make an immediate impact at pro level. Very likely to be taken within the top-10 picks
Team: Ohio State
About: Branham started his college career off the bench, but quickly became a regular starter. He scored a career-high 35 points in a 87–79 overtime win against Nebraska. As a freshman, he averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and two assists per game. Branham was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as Third Team All-Big Ten. On April 1, 2022, Branham declared for the 2022 NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility. He later signed with an agent, forgoing his remaining eligibility. He is a potential lottery pick in the draft.
Team: Arizona WIldcats
About: Mathurin averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, shooting 41.8 percent from three-point range. On December 11, 2021, Mathurin scored 30 points in a 83-79 win against Illinois. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year. An ability to score in isolation has proven to be a huge bonus to Mathurin’s game. If he lands in the top 10, that’ll create the usage necessary to compete for the top rookie honors.
About: He made his debut in the summer league with an 84-76 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers where he posted 23 points, five rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes. He cruised through the summer league with a great shot-making ability, hitting jumpers off self-creation or spot-ups or screens. Murray’s game translates extremely well to the next level. That is to say, top-notch shooting and an above-average presence on defense.
Team: Purdue Boilermakers
About: Early in his freshman season, Ivey missed five games with a foot injury. On January 19, 2021, he made a game-winning three-pointer with five seconds left as part of a 15-point performance in a 67–65 win over Ohio State. There’s a lot to like here from an athletic ability. Ivey can blow past defenders out on the perimeter and does a tremendous job finishing in the lane. That’s a great first step at the next level.
Team: Gonzaga Bulldogs
Position: Forward, Center
About: In his sophomore season, Holmgren averaged 18.6 points and 11 rebounds per game and led his team to another Class 2A state title. After the season, he had success with his Amateur Athletic Union team Grassroots Sizzle at the Under Armour Association, earning tournament most valuable player honors. As a result, he emerged as one of the highest ranked players in the 2021 class and started receiving more NCAA Division I interest. In August 2019, Holmgren attracted national attention for crossing over basketball player Stephen Curry at Curry's own SC30 Select Camp. The only real question here is how well Holmgren’s 195-pound frame will hold up at the next level. Either way, we’re talking about top-end talent here. There’s no question.
About: He played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils. A projected top-3 pick in 2022, he was a consensus five-star recruit and one of the top players in the 2021 class. In 2022, he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. Regardless of where Banchero lands, he’s going to be a top NBA Rookie of the Year candidate. This isn’t even up for debate.
About: He was named Mr. Georgia Basketball, Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Classification Player of the Year. Smith was selected to the rosters for the McDonald's All-American Game. There’s really not a lot to dislike about Smith’s game. The No. 4 recruit in 2021, this 6-foot-10 forward can hit from pretty much any spot on the court. Smith has the size, athleticism and potential to be a franchise cornerstone type player. He displayed this continually during his one season with the Tigers.
Smith is right there with Banchero and Holmgen as the three most-likely No. 1 picks in a top-heavy class. He’ll be a ROY candidate regardless of where he lands.
We’ve given you some insights into who could take the top award. Now you just need to try out some basketball betting strategies. Here are a few options:
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