NBA News: 2021 Rookie of the Year Race
NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Sacramento Kings
Feb 28, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) spins away from Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley (35) in the third quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In the NBA as in all other pro sports year in and year out rookie players coming in from the college leagues as well as from other pro leagues from other countries enter the league all bidding to make the biggest splash in favor of their teams and their early blooming careers. While starting to get their feet in the best way in the pros is always demand there are always some players that stand out above the rest of the pack. With all the best online betting platforms dishing out odds for who the best candidates for the rookie of the year award since right after the draft let’s take an early look at who might walk away at the end with the NBA ROY award.

Honorable Mentions

The first case that pops out is of a player that since before the draft was already being picked by some of the top NBA analysts to take the ROY award, NY Knicks’ SF/PF Obi Toppin. The Dayton University star had scouts and basketball specialists singing praises for his playing style and shooting ability. The Knicks saw in Toppin a much-needed cornerstone in their perennial rebuilding process but have been left waiting for the rookie to start making his mark. With an irregular preseason and having missed 10 of his first 11 games this season Toppin is in dire need of letting go of his rust and inexperience and start truly getting in the hang of the league, especially playing for a team with one of the most demanding fan bases in the league. One thing is for certain, if Toppin can find his old Dayton groove, he will be a machine for the Knicks, it might only be a matter of time.

Then there’s the case for Minnesota’s No.1 overall pick in this season’s draft, SG Anthony Edwards. Right off the bat, alongside LaMelo Ball Edwards showed very strong promising signs including a clinic against the Portland Trail Blazers that included a career-high 26 points, four rebounds, and two steals, all while coming off the bench. As the season has progressed Edwards has slowed down his pace in order to find what his true role in the roster, including the starting lineup should be, a lineup where D’Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, and Karl-Anthony Towns are the staples.

Sacramento Kings PG Tyrese Haliburton

Ask any pro basketball fan about Haliburton and they will all agree on one thing; Sacramento’s new point guard is definitely the steal of this year’s draft. The former Iowa State point guard has been pleasantly turning heads with his playing skills. If you go and check all the top rookie stats categories, you’ll see Haliburton placing right at the top of the pack. Even with the Kings’ sometimes uninspired playing, Haliburton is making a very strong case to win the Rookie of the Year award.

Listing some of the early reasons as to why Sacramento’s rookie has all the chops to take the ROY gold at the end there’s the fact that Haliburton became the youngest player in NBA history to achieve a triple-double. Also, his three-point shooting percentage as of right now is making a stronger and stronger case to be the best by a rookie in NBA history. While playing for the Kings seems like no award for any player, Haliburton is surely making the most of it and making a very strong case for himself since early on.

Charlotte Hornets PG LaMelo Ball

Apparently, Lonzo Ball wasn’t the best ballplayer in the family and no, we are not talking about loud mouth quack Lavar Ball. LaMelo Ball has started making his presence in the NBA seriously felt, especially after a slow forgetful start to the season that saw him not be able to take off as expected by everyone. The Hornets’ rookie entered the season as a favorite to win the ROY award with sportsbook websites having him with some very favorable odds and after his rough start, he is now truly starting to show why. 

Though he is still continuing to come off the bench, it’s only a small matter of time before Lonzo Ball’s younger brother takes his well-deserved place in the Hornets starting five, especially with his ball-handling abilities and smooth assisting game, resembling some of the game’s best passers.

Ball is balling left and right after finding some great rhythm with teammates Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward and has all experts ready to give him the award. As of right now, the ROY award is his for the taking, if he can continue his growth and status in the team then there will be no stopping him.

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