NBA's Rookie Of The Year: 2022 Contenders
Unlike the NBA player futures odds, the NBA Rookies of the Year odds have been diving in every direction!
Now we have seen a couple of games, it's becoming more clear who our major contenders are, however with the whiplash we have seen from some players, we still have to keep on our toes!
Evan Mobley - Cleveland Cavaliers
At the beginning of the season everyone thought that Cade Cunningham would have an undisputed Rookie of the Year award, but as the season has progressed Evan Mobley has become more daring.
In fact, Mobley isn't the only contender who has pushed past Cunningham, but we will talk about them a little later.
Mobley was originally thought of as a long shot contender by most bookies, which meant his odds were large and the winning would have been bountiful. Now that long shot is looking more realistic.
The reason for Mobley's launching success is because he is more than just a guard or just a wing. Evan has an all around ability which makes him an unexpected assassin in the court.
When you watch this rookie play, it's almost as though he isn't in an NBA competition at all. The baskets are made with ease, his passes as though there is no one blocking him, and his stats are quickly rising!
Evan Mobley is very likely the biggest contender to the Rookie of the Year award 2022.
Scottie Barnes - Toronto Raptors
Scottie Barnes is another player who managed to surpass Cade Cunningham in the odds. Before the games began, many spectators suggested that Barnes needed his coach to use small defensive lineups if Barnes was going to be anywhere near the Rookie trophy.
Luckily for the Raptors, coach Nick Nurse seemed to be listening and put forward a plan to utilize Barnes. The risk paid off, and we now can see that Barnes has managed to show off his amazing sprint-like defensive skills.
Many people also believe that Barnes would struggle to score consistently unless he had a three-ball lineup or a pull-up position for him. But if you have looked at how Barnes has played, you can see that no one should have been doubting him!
The number 4 picked rookie had a future that the Raptors could see and use well!
Jalen Green - Houston Rockets
Although we have talked a bit about Cade Cunningham and how many people thought of him as the leading contender, Jalen Green was also a rookie player that was set for the top spot.
Green hasn't fallen as far down the ranks as Cunningham, and being the 3rd spot contender still means he has a high chance of winning the award.
Initially, the predictions showed that Green and Cunningham should have similar points per game by the end of the season, however, Cunningham has dropped further than expected. Green, however, has brought forward a stronger back step, creating cleaner separations and aligned finishes.
Cade Cunningham - Detroit Pistons
We have talked about Cunningham in the background of all of our other contenders, and we don't mean to put the strong athlete down. He is still a fantastic talent. He has also done amazingly to push past expectations and still be a contender for the Rookie of the Year award. Pressure can get the best of anyone, let alone someone who has the world watching them. So a little slipping here and there shouldn't be looked down upon.
However, that being said, Cunningham was originally seen as a high-use player with phenomenal passes, amazing awareness of the court to create playmaking spaces, as well as the all-important trait of being an outstanding shooter.
Although Cunningham still shows these wonderful skills, it seems as though the other players have been able to use more of the court. Cunningham has been consistent in his gameplay which might give him a bigger edge over his competitors. His play has been smooth, and his team working skills have been put to good use. If the judges put this information to the forefront of their discussion, then Cunningham would be the outright winner.
That being said, other players have shown more diversity and have put themselves into risky situations which ended up working. By playing on the edge like this, they have proven their skill, ability, and training in a way that Cunningham hasn't been able to produce yet.
Still, there is time for Cunningham to give the judges an unexpected flair.
Chris Duarte - Indiana Pacers
At the beginning of the season, Chris Duarte wasn't thought of as a contender for the Rookie awards. His first set of odd was way into the +3,500 category, which was +2,700 above the lowest Top 5 contender (Scottie Barnes).
This all changed on October 26ths as the 24-year-old became the face of the Indiana Pacers. Before this date, Duarte's odds were growing in number, making him less and less likely to be the winner of the award. It reached a peak of +3,800, but this game changed everything for the young lad.
Duarte has shown that he is averaging more points per game than any other rookie player. His scoring, 3-pointers and field goals are all leading figures in their tables, and the October 26th game cemented that.
So far, the figures are as such; Duarte has an average point score of 16. His rebounds count as 4.5, and his assists are 2.4. Looking at the percentage shooting in the field, Durate has an outstanding 44.7% on his belt, and his 3-point range has an impressive 42.2% too.
If we look at the figures alone, this underdog that no one considered could end up the winner of the Rookies of the Year award 2022.
It's because of unexpected rises like this that we cannot know the final contenders until the last games have been played. Every rookie is playing with fantastic skill, and who knows, maybe another Duarte will stand strong against the Cunninghams of the court.