RJ Barrett Faces Hefty Competition for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award
RJ Barrett Odds for NBA Rookie of the Year
Just because all signs point to the Knicks entering yet another rebuilding stage, it doesn’t mean that fans don’t have plenty to be excited about in regard to the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season. Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr. look to be promising young players with plenty of upside and will now be joined by former Duke University sensation RJ Barrett. Barrett was nothing short of outstanding during his time with the Blue Devils, averaging over 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Barrett has already announced to the media that he has his sights firmly set on winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in his first season as a pro. Zion Williamson is clearly the odds on favorite heading into the start of the regular season, as betting markets currently have him listed at -150, which is slightly ahead of both Ja Morant and Barrett. However, the New York Knicks draft pick certainly isn’t too far behind, as RJ Barrett’s odds to win the award are hovering around +450.
He should get plenty of national exposure considering he is playing in one of the biggest markets in all of the NBA. There is little doubt that playing primetime games in Madison Square Garden will certainly draw more nationwide attention than Morant will get in Memphis and perhaps even Williamson will receive in New Orleans as the season goes on.
Why all the Fuss Over RJ Barrett’s Rookie of the Year Odds
Barrett earned rave reviews across the board from scouts while playing for Coach K at Duke, especially for his prolific offensive abilities and strong work ethic. He displayed great ball handling skills, athleticism, and instincts over 38 appearances last season, all of which should translate to the NBA relatively quickly. While there are some signs that Barrett needs to continue working on his shot selection if he truly hopes to be an elite player at the next level, there is little doubt that he has the determination, will, and self-belief to become a perennial all-star in the league.
Zion Williamson will also be extremely interesting to track during his rookie season after being selected first overall by the Pelicans. With a playing weight of 285 lbs, Williamson’s unique ability to overpower defenders should help Barrett’s former teammate at Duke make an immediate impact. However, he may have a smaller role in the offense out of the gate in New Orleans due to the presence of Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball, who are both skilled ball-handlers.
Ja Morant also looks like he will make a big splash with his new team, especially after Mike Conley was traded away in June and left the Grizzlies desperate for scoring options. Morant will have every opportunity to shine right out of the gate, as his playmaking ability looks to be exactly what Memphis needs as they start their own rebuilding process. Oddsmakers currently have Morant listed just ahead of Barrett at +400 to win Rookie of the Year honors. Ultimately, it should be a fantastic race between three former college superstars hoping to hit the ground running in the NBA.