As we reach the halfway point of the 2021-22 NBA season, it’s time to take a look at the NBA Rookie of the Year race. For the most part, the pre-season favorites, players like Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham remain near the top of the list to win the annual award. Meanwhile players like Franz Wagner and Josh Giddey have improved their odds, while Jalen Green has dropped significantly from his pre-season standing.
2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year odds
Mobley pulls away
Seventeen NBA executives recently shared their thoughts on the top under-25 NBA players they would build a franchise around. The first rookie to show up on that list — at No. 6 — was the Cleveland Cavaliers Evan Mobley. One executive was quoted as saying, “Evan Mobley is the best two-way player from last year’s draft. He has a maturity about him.”
Mobley’s on court talent and intangibles make him the favorite to win the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year. He is the No. 4 ranked rookie scorer in the NBA with 14.8 points per game, while leading all rookies with 8.1 rebounds per game.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 5, 2022
Mobley opened the season at +550 to win the Rookie of the Year. The No. 3 pick of the 2021 NBA draft has cut that number and he is currently -125 to win the award.
Cunningham leads in Detroit
The only other rookie player to show up on the above mentioned list of top under-25 players in the NBA was Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons. The first overall pick of the 2021 NBA draft, Cunningham was No. 13 on that list.
Despite playing on a team that has won just nine games, Cunningham has been a bright spot for Detroit and has established himself as the future franchise cornerstone.
Cade Cunningham is making his case for rookie of the year! #Pistons
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) January 12, 2022
With Jerami Grant out of action, Cunningham leads the Pistons in points (15.4), assists (5.4) and steals (1.3) per game.
This year will be a great learning experience for Cunningham.
Barnes is a hit in Toronto
Scottie Barnes was a bit of a wildcard when the Toronto Raptors picked him at No. 4 in the 2021 NBA draft. He opened the season at +800 to win the Rookie of the Year, but his play this season has exceeded expectations and he is now +238 to win the award.
Barnes spent most of his one college season coming off the bench, but he has fit in well with Toronto and is looking like a future star who can provide brilliant play on offense and defense.
RPR ROY Predictor standings, determined by our Rolling Player Ratings and team success:
1. Scottie Barnes: 7.6
2. Evan Mobley: 7.44
3. Franz Wagner: 5.19
4. Chris Duarte: 3.59
5. Cade Cunningham: 3.44
6. Herb Jones: 3.44
7. Josh Giddey: 3.42
8. Omer Yurtseven: 2.58 pic.twitter.com/GaWprYNQFO
— NBA Math (@NBA_Math) January 12, 2022
Barnes is averaging 35.5 minutes per game and leads the team in rebounds with 8 per game. He is also supplying his fair share of offense with 14.7 points per game and 3.5 assists.
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