DraftKings Odds: Jaden Ivey doesn’t have a prayer for Rookie of the Year even if he should

Detroit Bad Boys

Jaden Ivey just completed perhaps his best week as an NBA basketball player. In his past four games, Detroit’s fifth overall pick has averaged 23.3 points on 43/41/91 shooting splits and distributed 7.5 assists for good measure.

Following the early season injury to Cade Cunningham, Ivey was begrudgingly thrust into a starting point guard role to accelerate his development during a lost season. He has responded by steadily improving in multiple facets of the game, including those that were big question marks as he entered the league — namely, his ability as a lead distributor and the development of his mid-range game.

Since Jan. 1, Ivey ranks firsts in assists per game, second in points, third in free throws, and sixth in 3-point percentage among first-year players attempting at least three 3s per game. He’s doing all of this with arguably the most intense offensive load of anyone in the rookie class and the worst supporting cast.

Despite all of this, Ivey is a distant sixth (+25,000) on DraftKings Rookie of the Year odds. Again, you can blame that supporting cast. Again dating back to Jan. 1, the only rookie in a worst situation has been Jabari Smith Jr, who has seen his Houston Rockets outscored by 345 points when he is on the floor. Ivey ranks second at -310.

The league, it seems, has decided it doesn’t like to reward losers. This is despite the fact that only five rookies in the entire class of those who average at least 15 minutes have a positive net rating while on the court, and the most likely candidates for the award are not among those five.

The leader for Rookie of the Year remains Paolo Banchero (-4000), who, perhaps not so coincidentally, also got off to the hottest start of any rookie this season. The die seemed to be cast early and the narratives were set.

Bennedict Mathurin (+12,000), another player who got off to a blazing start, cooled off similar to Banchero but built up a big enough narrative head start that it seems unlikely he will be caught.

If there is a spoiler in this Rookie of the Year race, it is likely to be Jalen Williams who is sitting at an intriguing +1,500 on DraftKings. He combines the kind of athleticism and efficiency that basketball dorks love with the added benefit of being on the best team in the field, the 38-39 Oklahoma City Thunder. Williams’ candidacy feels a lot like Scottie Barnes late entry into the race last season.

The 2023 NBA Draft Odds get much more interesting once you get past Victor Wembanyama at -8,000 to be the first overall selection. The second pick is much more up in the air, and that could be true if a team like the Pistons land at No. 2. Currently, G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson is at -380 with Brandon Miller at +175. Personally, I don’t think Troy Weaver would balk at taking Henderson if he truly thought Henderson was the second-best player. However, there is no saying that is how his evaluations shake out. We have plenty of evidence that Weaver has … unique, independent scouts on players.

The third pick is even more intriguing. You have Miller (+140), Henderson (+200) and Amen Thompson (+275) in a tight three-way race. That is followed by Ausar Thompson (+800), Jarace Walker (+1000), Anthony Black (+2000), Cam Whitmore (+3,500), Nick Smith Jr. (+3,500), Keyonte George (+5,000) and Gradey Dick (+7,500).

Now, I’ve not done any sort of deep dive on the prospects yet, but I pick up things in the ether and by reading the thoughts of folks much smarter than myself, including our own Bryce Simon, Damon Allred, Laz Jackson, and others. There is a ton to like about both the Thompson twins, but there is also plenty to offer pause. Miller played poorly in the tournament but also had a nagging injury. Walker seems like that kind of potential all-around, two-way big body who could cement himself into top position.

That third position seems very much unsettled, and I’m not sure the current odds are reflective of just how many players could vault into that No. 3 spot.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

Articles You May Like

The Pindown: The Offseason Shopping List
Potential Detroit Pistons Offseason Targets: Davion Mitchell
Report: Pistons will hire new president to oversee basketball operations
Final: Pistons clinch worst record in franchise history with loss to Bulls
Pistons vs. Bulls preview: Final home game of this miserable season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *