After watching him at the Las Vegas Summer League, it’s easy to walk away thinking that No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero will win the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He showed off the skills, and the Magic will put the ball in his hands and ask him to create.
But the last No. 1 overall pick to win Rookie of the Year was Ben Simmons, and only three of the previous 10 ROYs were the top pick (Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins were the other two). There’s a genuine chance that someone else is going to jump up and grab that trophy.
Who? From our partners at Point Bet, here are the odds for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year (the top 10 players):
Paolo Banchero (Magic) +350
Chet Holmgren (Thunder) +375
Jaden Ivey (Pistons) +550
Jabari Smith (Rockets) +650
Keegan Murray (Kings) +700
Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers) +1000
Shaeden Sharpe (Trail Blazers) +1800
Dyson Daniels (Pelicans) +1800
Johnny Davis (Wizards) +2500
Ousmane Dieng (Thunder) +3000
Some thoughts on that list:
• As noted above, Banchero deserves to have the lowest odds. Watching him in Las Vegas, he has the build and skills of a quality NBA player walking in the door to Magic training camp, and things should only improve from there. He is absolutely going to be the guy to beat for this award.
• Chet Holmgren impressed in Las Vegas and could win this award — he had Josh Giddey showed some pick-and-roll chemistry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander makes everyone look better, and he’s going to have a real defensive impact and some highlight blocks. Not sure if it’s enough to win it all, but he has a chance.
• My bet would be on Keegan Murray — he is just a guy who knows how to play the game. He showed an impressive shot in Las Vegas, was calm under pressure, and it’s easy to imagine him running the break with De'Aaron Fox or pealing off a Domantas Sabonis dribble hand-off and making a play in the halfcourt. He’s going to get real run on a team thinking playoffs, and he could surprise and win this thing.
• I like Jabari Smith, but not to win this award as a rookie. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. will have the ball in their hands in Houston and that duo are not the playmakers they will become yet, Smith may not get the touches.
• I like Jaden Ivey’s fit next to Cade Cunningham in Detroit, but playing with another guard who should have the ball in his hands more hurts his chances at this award.