Jayson Tatum rated fifth-most likely to win Rookie of the Year next season

When it comes to Rookie of the Year, new Boston Celtic Jayson Tatum has pretty good odds.

According to the figures released by Bovada, the online gambling empire and one of the leading sites for sports betting, Tatum has nine-to-one odds of winning the award despite the Philadelphia Knee Injuries fielding yet another "rookie" in the form of Ben Simmons, who is surprisingly not favored to "win" the award with three-to-one odds (I use scare quotes because I think it unfair when guys have a whole year or more to learn the NBA, but that's a whole different story I'll save for this year's awards). That honor dubiously falls to recent Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball, with five-to-two odds.

Markelle Fultz (to the Philadelphia 76ers) has been given five-to-one odds to win the award, and De'Aaron Fox (drafted by the Sacramento Kings), with seven-to-one odds, fills out the players ranked more likely than Jayson to win the award by Bovada. Other noteworthy candidates include Josh Jackson (to the Phoenix Suns), at equal odds to Tatum, and Jonathon Isaac (Orlando Magic), Malik Monk (Charlotte Hornets), and Dennis Smith (Dallas Mavericks), who are all tied at 16-to-one odds.

John Collins (Portland Trailblazers), Justin Jackson (also to the Kings) and Lauri Markkanen (Chicago Bulls) fill out the rest of the listed candidates in the realm of the plausible-but-unlikely candidates with 20-to-one, 22-to-one and 22-to-one odds, respectively. My own opinion is that it should come down to either Fultz or Smith, with an outside chance of Monk, Jackson, or Markkanen should they light it up with their respective new teams.

The award tends to go to rookies on bad teams where they are the primary or secondary offensive option, typically passing high usage distributors (Simmons, Ball) outstanding defenders (Isaac), and solid outings for rookies on veteran-heavy, playoff-bound teams (Tatum, Collins). I think having more than one rookie in the race hurts the odds also, as one player's success will impact the other's stat lines (Fox and Jackson), though if one of the two is being used as a secondary distributor as I expect Fultz and Simmons to be, it may not matter, especially given the volume I expect from Markelle on a team with so few scoring options.

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