NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Edwards in the sexy pick
With just a little over half of the season remaining, the race for many of the awards are about to heat up down the stretch.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing award races out there if for Rookie of the Year.
When he was healthy, it seemed Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball was going to run away with the award, but he suffered a season-ending wrist injury. He’s currently listed at +200 to still take home the hardware, but with him not getting back on the floor for the remainder of the season, it’s hard to see the award going to him with just under half a season played.
That leaves us with Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards +100 and Sacramento’s Tyrese Haliburton +150.
Coming into the season, I wasn’t high on Edwards. We’ve seen athletic wings come through the league before, especially after being drafted highly, and never really turning into what the team had hoped.
At least for now, Edwards has looked like a No. 1 pick. In the month of March, he averaged 24.2 points per game, including a 42-point outing, while giving us numerous highlight reel dunks for the public to ooh and ah at.
However, much of that has come with D’Angelo Russell out with an injury, freeing up more shot attempts for Edwards. He’s averaging 17.3 points per game on the season, but is shooting just 39 percent. He also shoots a lot of threes, 6.8, for a guy that only makes 30 percent of them. It will be interesting to see how Edwards’ shot attempts changes when Russell comes back.
Meanwhile, Haliburton has been playing a type of basketball that all of the analysts and basketball junkies love. He’s averaging 13.3 points per game and five assists, but is shooting 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from deep. He’s made Sacramento better this season, despite people worrying about how he would fit with De’Aaron Fox.
It turns out; perfectly. At no point has he overstepped his role and is often out there in the Kings’ crunch time lineup. The problem is, he doesn’t put up anywhere near the highlight reel plays that Edwards does, despite putting up more efficient numbers.
The month of April will surely be the defining stretch that decides the award. I like Haliburton personally, but Edwards at even odds with his athleticism and dunks is the sexier pick. Not knowing how they will vote, it’s still up in the air for me.