The Top Ten NBA Rookies To Watch In 2019-2020
As the NBA season begins this week, New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson will be sidelined 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery Monday on his right meniscus.
Williamson is the favorite to take home Rookie of the Year honors and his absence will give many other promising rookies a chance to shine.
Here's a look at the Top Ten NBA Rookies to Watch as the season unfolds:1. Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion averaged better than 23 points, six rebounds and two assists per game in just 27 minutes a night through four preseason games, while shooting an absurd 71% from the field. He didn't make the trip to New York for the Knicks game on Friday and is now expected to miss several weeks with knee soreness.
Rookie of Year odds (via bookmaker.eu): 2/52. Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The 6-foot-3 rookie out of Murray State averaged 11.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists through four preseason games while shooting 44% from the field but just 14% from three. Memphis is one of a few Western Conference teams not expected to contend for the playoffs, but Morant could be bright spot.
Rookie of the Year odds: 15/43. R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks
Zion's former running buddy looked impressive in the preseason, averaging 15.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 46% from the field and 33% from deep. He'll get a chance to play multiple positions, including at some point for the Knicks, who hope to surprise the world by contending for a playoff spot in the East.
Rookie of Year odds: 6/14. Coby White, Chicago Bulls
The 6-foot-5 point guard out of North Carolina averaged 19.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1 assists in the preseason while shooting 46% from the field and 43% from deep. He went for 29 points and 6 rebounds with 6 3-pointers in a win over the Hawks. White figures to be a major bright spot for the Bulls this season.
Rookie of Year odds: 31/15. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans
With all the talk about Zion in New Orleans, don't be asleep at the switch on Alexander-Walker, the No. 17 pick out of Virginia Tech. One of many young Canadian stars in the league, he averaged 15.4 points, 4 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 47 percent both from the field and from deep.
Rookie of Year odds: 150/16. Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks
Some NBA analysts think Reddish has the brightest future among the trio of Duke rookies, including Williamson and Barrett. The 6-foot-8 rookie averaged 6.5 points and 2 rebounds in the preseason while shooting 33% from the field and 23% from deep. His brightest days may lie ahead.
Rookie of Year odds: 45/17. Carsen Edwards, Boston Celtics
The second-round pick out of Purdue averaged 15.3 points in the preseason, which ranked fifth among rookies. He poured in 30 on 10-of-16 shooting in a win over Cleveland on October 15. As the Celtics move on in the post-Kyrie Era, watch for Edwards to play an emerging role.
Rookie of Year odds: 75/18. Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
The rookie out of Kentucky averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2 assists while shooting 46% from the field and 52% from deep (14-of-27). He shot 5-of-7 from deep in a win over the Hawks.
Rookie of Year odds: 40/19. De'Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks
The rookie out of NCAA champion Virginia is yet another bright spot for the Hawks. He averaged 10.2 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds in the preseason.
Rookie of Year odds: 31/110. (tie) Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
The first Japanese player ever drafted in the first round, Hachimura averaged 10.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in the preseason while shooting 41% from the field and 44% from deep.
Rookie of Year odds: 33/110. (tie) Jarrett Culver, Minnesota Timberwolves
The 6-foot-7 rookie out of Texas Tech averaged 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2 assists in the preseason while shooting 41% from the field and 28% from deep. His upside down the road appears to be pretty high.
Rookie of Year odds: 32/1