As we head into the back half of the 2021-22 NBA season, the race for the NBA Rookie of the Year award has begun to sort itself out. The pre-season favorites, players like Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, and Cade Cunningham remain near the top of the odds board to win the annual award. However, there has been some movement near the top as Ayo Dosunmu has entered the conversation. Meanwhile, Jalen Green, one of the early season favorites has continued to tumble.
2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year odds
|To Win NBA Rookie of the Year|
Mobley puts himself at a distance
In January, Evan Mobley was a -150 favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2022. The 20-year-old has made a huge jump in the odds in February. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Mobley with the third pick in the 2021 NBA Entry Draft. He is now a -400 favorite to win the award as the NBA’s best first-year player in 2022.
Mobley has 12 double-doubles on the season. He is second on the Cleveland club in minutes played with 34.2. The young center is averaging 14.9 points per game with a field goal percentage of 49.8 percent. Mobley is averaging 8.2 rebounds per game, and he has a team-leading 1.7 blocks per game.
18 PTS | 12 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 10, 2022
Mobley’s grasp on the Rookie of the Year seems tight.
Cade Cunningham looks like he is going to be a future star for the Detroit Pistons. The 20-year-old is playing 32 minutes per game. Cunningham is second in team scoring at 15.8 points per game – which leads all rookies. He’s also learning that he can’t overextend himself on the court and create turnovers off his aggression. Cunningham, who the Pistons took with the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Entry Draft, has a high turnover rate of 3.5 per game. I expect that number to fall in the second half of the season and with that, his odds of winning the Rookie of the Year could increase.
Earning his 1st #CloroxRisingStars selection… Cade Cunningham of the @DetroitPistons!@CadeCunningham_ was drafted as the 1st overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma State. pic.twitter.com/Y6B3EA5UOH
— #NBAAllStar (@NBAAllStar) February 6, 2022
Cunningham is currently on the sidelines with a sore right hip.
Dosunmu enters the conversation
Ayo Dosunmu was not on the preseason list of potential NBA Rookie of the Year candidates. That’s not a surprise. After all, the Chicago Bulls selected the 22-year-old in the second round – 38th overall – in the 2021 NBA Entry Draft. Dosunmu also wasn’t a starter for the Chicago club.
Dosunmu played well in the 14 games he started for the Bulls, essentially doubling his scoring, rebounding, and shots per game. With that, he showed he will be a big part of the team going forward. However, Dosunmu’s time as a starter came to an end this week when he was placed in concussion protocol.
Ayo Dosunmu. 🔨🔨🔨
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 6, 2022
If Dosunmu had been a starter from the beginning of the season or at least had more than 14 starts, he might be in the mix. However, his draft position, lack of starting games, and now his injury, will most likely make him a longshot to win Rookie of the Year in 2022.
Our pick for 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year
Evan Mobley is pulling away from the rest of the pack. Barring a fall off in his play or an injury that knocks him out of the Cavs lineup for more than 10 games, he looks like he will take home the Rookie of the Year honors for 2022.
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