Early 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

  • BetOnline has released opening odds on who will win 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year 
  • Zion Williamson (-155) is the overwhelming favorite to win the award
  • Ja Morant (+333) and RJ Barrett (+450) are also top contenders for the honor

Zion Williamson is the most hyped player to enter the NBA since LeBron James, but does that make him a lock to win Rookie of the Year?

Historically, just 13 of the 34 lottery-era No. 1 picks went on to win the award, with the last one being the Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015. Let’s look at the odds at BetOnline and evaluate all the top contenders for the honor.

Odds to Win 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year

Player (Team) Odds
Zion Williamson (Pelicans) -155
Ja Morant (Grizzlies) +333
RJ Barrett (Knicks) +450
Darius Garland (Cavaliers) +1500
DeAndre Hunter (Hawks) +1800
Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) +1800

*All odds taken 07/09/19

The Favorite: Zion Williamson

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward dominated in his summer league debut before leaving for “precautionary reasons”. It’s hard to imagine Zion not being the NBA’s best first-year player, but keep in mind that no pre-season favorite for Rookie of the Year has won the award since Kevin Durant in 2007-08.

Williamson burst into the national spotlight last year, averaging 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds for Duke, and his Nike shoe explosion generated more headlines than the moon landing.

Unlike most top picks, he’ll suit up for a competitive Pelicans team with guard Jrue Holiday and the three young former Lakers (Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart) acquired in the Anthony Davis deal.

Zion’s mix of raw power and rim-rocking dunks make him the man to beat, but his poor outside shooting could be the one chink in his armor.

The Small Schooler: Ja Morant

While Zion became a brand name early in the year, most Americans were introduced to Ja Morant during March Madness when the Murray State point guard put up a triple-double in a first round upset over Marquette.

Drafted no. 2 overall to Memphis, Morant averaged 24 points, 10 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in his sophomore year, showcasing a well-rounded game.

While the 19-year-old did most of his damage against sub-par competition in the Ohio State Valley Conference, he also didn’t have the benefit of playing with stars teammates such as RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.

The hyper-athletic 6-foot-3 guard’s jaw-dropping dunking ability could help him steal some headlines from Zion.

The Canadian: RJ Barrett

Summer league did not get off to a great start for the Knicks’ no. 3 overall pick. In a sloppy first two games, Barrett shot 7-for-33 with way more turnovers (10) than assists (2).

The 6-foot-7 combo guard is blessed with a strong build and an alpha’s scoring mentality, but he’s also a bit of a ball hog. Who could forget the Blue Devils’ Elite 8 loss to Michigan State when he took over on Duke’s final three possessions, leaving Williamson without a shot in the final 1:41 of the game.

Still, the 19-year-old has been described as a future star by Coach K and his international experience playing for Canada’s national team may give him a leg-up in his first season in the league.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.