I love the NBA draft. As a huge college basketball fan, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. There’s something about the hats, the suits, and the anticipation of a blockbuster draft day trade that always makes it a must-watch for me. Also the rapid-fire of the second round alone brings entertainment value to any real basketball fan (shout out Russ Granik and Mark Tatum). It could also be the fact that with all of the random international players that get picked in the second round, I still hold out hope that somehow my name will be called. Anyway, trying to figure out whose game will translate from college to the NBA is always a tough, but fun game to play. I’m here to give some of my best value bets for Rookie of the Year before the season tips off in a few short weeks. I like these bets because it gives you vested interest in some players throughout the duration of a very long season. If this site existed at this time last year, Donovan Mitchell may or may not have been first on the list. Believe what you want…
Trae Young +1100
Week after week last winter we watched Trae Young torch Big 12 defenses while making a name for himself on the national stage. He is a lethal shooter and a flashy passer, making the obvious NBA comparison for him, Steph Curry. It’s absolutely crazy to me that nobody has made that comparison before, but it feels good to be the first person on the internet to do it. Steph Curry is a once in a generation player, so I don’t expect Trae Young to be even close to his level, but a guy who can heat up like he can is worth sprinkling a little lunch money on, especially at +1100.
Kevin Knox +800
The homer pick for my New York Knicks, Knox gives Knicks fans something to be excited about in a unicorn-less season. He is a pure scorer with NBA size and has the makings of a successful NBA player. He can score in transition and can also create his own shot, and I think he will fit right in with the NBA pace of play. Playing on a crowded Kentucky team, Knox didn’t get the shine he necessarily deserved in college, and I think the Knicks may have ended up with a steal at number 9 when we look back at this draft. Knox can make an impact quickly and should definitely be in play for the Rookie of the Year.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander +2800
Speaking of Kentucky, another Wildcat makes it onto this list. Gilgeous-Alexander really stepped up during the NCAA tournament and helped his draft stock. If you watched him play in college you know that he is a good-sized guard that has the ability to take over a game. His size allows him to contribute in a lot of different ways and fill up the stat sheet, and his name looks really funny on his jersey. He will get a lot of play on a depleted Clippers team, and I think his value is great at +2800.
Wendell Carter Jr +1100
Wendell Carter Jr was for the most part overshadowed during his time at Duke by number two overall pick, Marvin Bagley. Carter quietly put together a great season, averaging 13.5 PPG and 9.1 TRB. I think he is entering a good situation in Chicago, one that will allow him a lot of playing time especially with the recent injury to Lauri Markkanen. Carter can play in the post, rebounds well, and can shoot from the perimeter. Due to his high volume and NBA readiness, I think he is worth a look at +1100.
Collin Sexton +800
Never forget the 3 vs 5 game.
Official Noodles prediction – Kevin Knox.
Get your bets in soon as the NBA season is right around the corner! And just remember, Malcom Brogdon won this award once.