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NBA Rookie of the Year Picks – Cade Cunningham or Jalen Green?
Updated September 9, 2021
NBA Rookie of the Year Picks For 2021-22
As the NBA season approaches, fans can now see more and more of the futures and bets that will be in place. In this article, we have our NBA Rookie of the Year Odds and Early Picks for the 2021-22 season. Will this be an award where the top two favorites in Cade Cunningham or Jalen Green take the top honor? Or is there value from another candidate? Let’s take a look.
Cade Cunningham Early NBA Rookie of the Year Favorite
There is always that first look towards the number one pick in the NBA draft. This year that was Cade Cunningham. Hence, oddsmakers fawned over the Detroit Pistons guard. An early favorite when it comes to pundits for NBA Rookie of the Year is Cade Cunningham, a guard from Oklahoma State. His odds have varied some from +200 on a few sites to as much as +225 or even +250 on others.
Now, that being said, there is still more than a month until the NBA season even begins. Most analysts feel that Cunningham represents the most complete college basketball player in the rookie field. Oklahoma State knew he was a “one and done” player but that mattered little. The 6 foot 8-inch guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest.
Oklahoma State developed him well and even let him practice at the 3 or 4 positions (forward) occasionally. This gave him the opportunity to match up against some stronger talent. It was to improve his post-up skills as that is something he will need in the NBA.
There are high expectations on the number one pick. Consider how Cunningham was found from a scouting standpoint.
This is where the debate for NBA Rookie of the Year Picks begins. Naturally, there are definitely other candidates out there as this is a loaded 2021 NBA draft class.
Jalen Green competing with Cade Cunningham and the field?
It is reasonable to see why Cunningham is a slight favorite. The team around him combined with a reasonable chance to play is compelling. However, Jalen Green is our pick for NBA Rookie of the Year.
Jalen GreenTo win the 2021-22 NBA Rookie Of The Year
As the season approaches, Jalen Green makes sense for NBA Rookie of the Year for several reasons. His odds, at least, do not vary too much (+250 to +275). There is some room for shortening of the odds should Green get off to an excellent start. The chances he does are actually good.
It boils down to that first month. Green played in the G-League last year against grown NBA and near-NBA caliber talent. All the guard did was average 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists and that was without starting right away. The Ignite shooting guard improved defensively as the season went on as well.
Over the final month of the season, Green approached 20 points a game with more than five rebounds per contest. The 6 foot 5 guard showed speed along with a little bit of strength that was not expected.
Green jumps into an ideal situation with the Houston Rockets. Let’s be honest. The Rockets lack talent in a number of critical positions. The guard averaged 20.3 points in the summer league while shooting over 50% from the field and 90% from the foul line.
While a similar player like Anthony Edwards took a month or so to get used to the NBA, Green is ready now. His quick release and two-way play will be welcome in Houston. Yes, he could lose some early touches in the season but competition is limited.
For the NBA Rookie of the Year, our best bet is Jalen Green by a slim margin.
Jalen Suggs could surprise here
The former Gonzaga guard expects to be a player in the NBA Rookie of the Year race. The one thing that Suggs has that the other top picks do not was the luxury of playing on a champion. Gonzaga won the NCAA Championship last season and Suggs became a bigger and bigger part of that title. He went from marginal bench player with some upside to an All-NCAA Tournament player by the end of the season.
The Orlando Magic were fortunate to draft Suggs fifth. He fell to them and with their current setup, that benefits Suggs greatly. Expect Orlando to employ a good deal of three-guard sets. This will allow them to utilize his shooting and playmaking abilities. It could lead to more opportunities to start as well. More minutes means more points and exposure which means more rookie of the year votes.
The other thing going for Suggs is he is ranging from +600 to +700 currently. That gives him more of a chance for his odds to shorten especially if he gets off to a hot start.
Out of the challengers, Jalen Suggs is a medium shot NBA Rookie of the Year candidate.
NBA Rookie of the Year seeinging shorter odds?
Bookmakers like MyBookie seem to be going a bit shorter with their odds. Several players went off at a number a good bit less than some of their sportsbook counterparts.
Even with Cade Cunningham, MyBookie offers +210 but Bovada is at least +250. Chris Duarte is just +1400 on MyBookie but double that on BetUS for example.
Are there any longshot futures?
Of course, there is. One player to look at may be G/F Keon Johnson of Tennesee. His athleticism and 48-inch vertical leave quite a ceiling. For longshots, Johnson at +5000 has great value.
Our Bet for NBA Rookie of the Year…
Take Jalen Green from the Houston Rockets to win the Rookie of the Year for this NBA season.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: