Brandon Ingram may have been the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but the oddsmakers at Bovada believe there are two players with a better chance to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie opens in Las Vegas with +650 odds to win the award, trailing top pick Ben Simmons (+325) and sixth overall pick Buddy Hield (+550). Rounding out the top-five are Kris Dunn (+750) and Denzel Valentine (+1200).
Ingram proclaimed it was his goal to win Rookie of the Year on draft night, but Simmons was an obvious choice as the favorite given his status as the first player selected. Hield is a big name that fans know from the NCAA tournament, which might lead a lot of more casual observers to bet on him.
Ingram also doesn’t project to be quite as high-usage as those two during his rookie campaign, sliding into a more supplementary role as a shooter to space the floor from the wing for the rest of his young Lakers teammates. Ingram will still have a decent chance to win the award if his shooting translates immediately and he can play better than expected defense as a first-year player, but not starting out as the favorite sounds about right for now.
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