When you have two teammates who were selected No. 1 overall in consecutive years of the NBA draft, it is difficult to gauge which one will make more of an impact. Then again, it is hard to predict which first-year player in the entire 2017 class could be named Rookie of the Year.
However, Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers is the choice of sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark as the +250 betting favorite (wager $100 to win $250).
Ball was selected second overall by the Lakers behind Markelle Fultz of the Philadelphia 76ers. The two competed against each other last year as freshmen in the Pac-12 and were viewed as the consensus top two players in the draft.
Fultz is listed as the +550 third choice to win Rookie of the Year, though, because his teammate, Ben Simmons, will also be playing his first season in the NBA after missing all of 2016 due to a foot injury. Simmons was the top overall pick last year and is the +300 second choice to win the award this year behind Ball and ahead of Fultz.
Los Angeles (26-56) and Philadelphia (28-54) finished with similar records last season to place second-to-last in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. The 76ers traded up from the third spot in the draft to select Fultz, acquiring the pick in a deal with the Boston Celtics, who ended up choosing Jayson Tatum (+1600).
The Celtics won the draft lottery thanks to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013.
Other top contenders for NBA ROY include De’Aaron Fox (+700) of the Sacramento Kings, Dennis Smith Jr. (+700) of the Dallas Mavericks, Malik Monk (+900) of the Charlotte Hornets and Josh Jackson (+1200) of the Phoenix Suns.
Of that group, Monk might be going to the best situation with the Hornets (36-46), who missed the playoffs last season but qualified the previous year in the East. Fox and Monk were teammates at Kentucky while former Kansas player Jackson might be able to contribute the most right away for the Suns (24-58), who were worse than the Lakers last season.
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