After a highly entertaining 2018 NBA Draft, the next crop of potential stars will be hitting the floor soon with Summer League on the horizon. Before the soon-to-be rookies ever take in the floor in their respective uniforms, however, it is already possible to wager on the winner of the 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Online bookmaker Bovada.lv released odds for the award on Friday morning and, unsurprisingly, Suns center Deandre Ayton is the early leader at 13-to-5. The No. 1 overall pick has the physicality and skills to be effective (and, more importantly for award purposes, highly productive) at the next level and Ayton will have every opportunity to shine with the decks cleared in Phoenix’s frontcourt.
Elsewhere, the Mavericks boast the second-leading favorite in Luka Doncic, just hours after acquiring him in a draft night trade with the Hawks. Doncic doesn’t profile as a dominant scorer immediately but his passing acumen should lead to a number of assists and he is big enough to stuff the stat sheet from a rebounding perspective. From there, the odds reflect Kings big man Marvin Bagley III and Hawks guard Trae Young as the closest competition, with other intriguing first-year players falling in line after that.