Paolo Banchero, Keegan Murray Vying for 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year
NBA training camp is just around the corner and it’s no surprise that the first pick from the 2022 NBA Draft — Paolo Banchero with the Orlando Magic — is the betting favorite to win 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year.
DraftKings installed Banchero as the betting favorite at +190 odds in its NBA Awards prop bets category. The former Duke star is also the consensus Rookie of the Year favorite in Las Vegas, and at various online sports books.
2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
- Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic) +190
- Keegan Murray (Sacramento Kings) +450
- Jabari Smith, Jr. (Houston Rockets) +700
- Jaden Ivey (Detroit Pistons) +700
- Bennedict Mathurin (Indiana Pacers) +1000
- Shaedon Sharpe (Portland Trail Blazers) +1700
- Dyson Daniels (New Orleans Pelicans) +2000
- Ousmane Dieng (Oklahoma City Thunder) +2500
- Johnny Davis (Washington Wizards) +2500
Keegan Murray, picked fourth overall by the Sacramento Kings, was named MVP of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July. He saw his Rookie of the Year odds improve to +450 after a sensational run in Las Vegas.
You won’t find Chet Holmgren listed anywhere for Rookie of the Year odds because he’s out for the season with a right foot injury. The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Holmgren, a 7-foot center from Gonzaga, with the second pick in the draft. He had an auspicious debut in the NBA Summer League, but he suffered a Lisfranc foot injury during a pro-am game in Seattle in late August.
Paolo Banchero +190
Banchero led Duke to a berth in the Final Four before losing to rival North Carolina in the 2022 March Madness semifinals. His strong performance in the March Madness tournament boosted his draft stock, which is one of the reasons why the Orlando Magic picked him over Smith and Holmgren.
Scouts often compared Banchero to Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics. Banchero has the skills on both ends of the court to make an impact for the young Magic.
The Magic are loaded with other talented future stars like Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs. There’s only one basketball to go around, but Banchero is expected to start at power forward.
Since 2000, the top pick in the draft secured the Rookie of the Year award only seven times. Ben Simmons is the last #1 pick to win the Rookie of the Year back in 2016. Banchero hopes he can break this recent trend, and you can back him at +190 odds to win the Rookie of the Year.
Keegan Murray +450
The Sacramento Kings traded Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, which provides Murray ample opportunity for playing time this season. New head coach Mike Brown is expected to start Murray alongside De’Aaron Fox in the same backcourt.
The Kings might miss the postseason for the 20th season in a row, but at least they’ll be fun to watch thanks to Murray.
After Holmgren’s injury, Banchero looks like he’s the biggest competition for Murray in his pursuit of Rookie of the Year. If you want to avoid betting on the top pick in the draft, then Murray is worthy of a flier at +450 odds to win the coveted award as the NBA’s top rookie.
Jabari Smith +700
Heading into the 2022 NBA Draft, Smith was the favorite to become the #1 pick. Then, the Magic threw everyone a curveball when they opted for Banchero instead. Smith, a 6-foot-11 power forward, slipped to the third pick. During his freshman season at Auburn, Smith was widely considered by pro scouts as the best player in college basketball. His father, Jabari Smith, Sr., played several seasons in the NBA before carving out a career overseas.
The Rockets were the worst team in the NBA over the last two seasons with 17 wins in 2020-21 and 20 wins in 2021-22. Oddsmakers don’t have faith in the Rockets this season either, with a projected win total of just 23.5 victories.
The Rockets could continue to tank once again this season. That might be a good situation for Smith because he’ll log significant playing time. He’s expected to start at power forward for the Rockets, which is why he’s among the top four contenders for Rookie of the Year at +700 odds.
Jaden Ivey +700
The Detroit Pistons were thrilled to add Ivey with the fifth-overall pick, even though numerous mock drafts had the Kings picking him at #4. He led Purdue in scoring as a sophomore, and he had two years of college ball under his belt compared to the top three picks who were “one-and-done” players who left school after their freshman seasons.
Ivey joins a young team in Detroit that’s loaded with talented, yet inexperienced players, including Cade Cunningham, the former #1 pick from the 2021 NBA Draft.
Ivey and Cunningham in the same backcourt will be fun to watch next season. Ivey is the third co-favorite on the awards board at +700 odds, along with Smith.
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