Gary | Tue 03/01/2017 - 14:13 EST

Who Will Win NBA Rookie Of The Year

Who Will Win NBA Rookie Of The Year
As the 2016-17 NBA season nears its halfway point, it's time for yet another NBA Rookie of the Year ladder. We profile our five best betting candidates, from worst to first, using the most recent odds from Bovada.

NBA Rookie Of The Year Monthly Ladder

By Dan Favale

5. Buddy Hield, New Orleans Pelicans (+1600)

Last Month’s Ranking: Unranked

hield

Buddy Hield has come on to the NBA scene in a big way over the last month or so. 

Though he is still shooting under 40 percent from the field overall, he’s starting to find his three-point stroke at the professional. His usage rate is up when he’s in the game as result, and he’s giving the New Orleans Pelicans a chance at surrounding Anthony Davis with more than one or two above-average snipers at any given time.

You should not expect Hield to steal too much Rookie of the Year dap just yet. He spent a large chunk of the season struggling, and everyone needs to see whether his current level of play is sustainable and can be improved upon in the long run.

 

4. Kris Dunn, Minnesota Timberwolves (+1000)

Last Month’s Ranking: Unranked

Kris Dunn is looking more and more at home in the NBA with each passing game.

His shooting percentages are still in the toilet, and he ranks as a stark offensive minus when the Minnesota Timberwolves play him, but there is a steep learning curve on the more glamorous end for rookie floor generals.

Dunn is merely going through the motions. His warts should disappear in time. He already looks more comfortable orchestrating the offense, and his 31.3 percent clip from deep, while bad, is high enough to suggest he can improve as time wears on. More concerning is his sub-63 percent conversion rate at the foul line.

Above all else, though, Dunn is already a defensive upgrade over Ricky Rubio. And truth told, it’s only a matter of time before Minnesota hands him the full-time reins.

As for whether he’ll get that call to arms this season, we can’t be sure. But Dunn was a promising Rookie of the Year candidate leading into the 2016-17 crusade, and he’s holding up his end of the bargain now by remaining within the top five.

 

3. Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets (+900)

Last Month’s Ranking: 2

odds

Jamal Murray is probably the most confident rookie in the league not named Joel Embiid right now. And that bodes well for the Denver Nuggets’ big-picture future.

Murray, like many of his other first-year peers, continues to shoot under 40 percent from the floor. His three-point clip, which at one time hovered above 40 percent, has since dipped below 35 percent.

But the kid works his butt off on the defensive end. And what he lacks in shot-making abilities right now, he makes up for with understated playmaking. He may be the Nuggets’ third-most valuable passer at the moment, behind only Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay.

If Murray can get some of his shooting percentages in order, he’ll start to gain serious Rookie of the Year consideration—perhaps ultimately regaining his spot at No. 2.

 

2. Malcom Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks (+1200)

Last Month’s Ranking: Unranked

Malcolm Brogdon came almost out of nowhere for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The second-round pick is officially receiving minutes over Matthew Dellavedova, and head coach Jason Kidd isn’t shying away from using his newbie during the fourth quarter and crunch time.

Brogdon ranks as the second-most valuable talent among NBA kiddies. He has led all rookies in assist percentage and three-point accuracy since December 1, according to NBA.com, and his 6’5″ frame allows him to defend both guard positions.

It’s no coincidence Brogdon has one of the Bucks’ best net ratings. That he’s been so impactful to a playoff hopeful, while logging many of his minutes against starting-caliber talent, is huge for his overall stock.

Which is why, if the season ended today, he would receive the second-most Rookie of the Year votes among all beginners.

 

1. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (-400)

Last Month’s Ranking: 1

Embiid

Joel Embiid continues to dominate the Rookie of the Year ladder, and he’s showing know signs of slowing down.

Some of his efficiency numbers have dipped, but that happens when you increase volume. Plus, the Philadelphia 76ers have been slotting him alongside Jahlil Okafor, a liability on both ends. Such a move wouldn’t have a good effect on anyone’s individual production—Embiid included.

But the fact of the matter is Embiid remains a star, even though he’s playing for a bad Sixers squad that doesn’t always put him in the best possible situation to succeed.

To wit: The 22-year-old is comfortably exceeding 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game—averages that have not been sustained by a rookie over the course of an entire season since Tim Duncan was new to the NBA in 1996-97.

That’s just insane.

More importantly, it’s proof that this Rookie of the Year race is Joel Embiid’s to lose until further notice.

Results / FixturesNBA

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