The long awaited return of the NBA kick-offs on Christmas Day with the start of a shortened 66-game regular season due to the league’s recent labor issues. While the shortened season will create a mad-dash to the postseason with an accelerated game schedule, it will also provide an excellent opportunity for this year’s rookies to make an immediate impact with increased playing time.
The follow is a look at a few of the top candidates for this season’s Rookie of the Year award along with their odds as provided by BetDSI.
Kyrie Irving 7/2
The Cleveland Cavaliers, in an effort to rebuild in the post-Lebron James era, selected Kyrie Irving as the first pick in the draft. The former Duke standout will undoubtedly see his fair share of playing time with the recent departure of Baron Davis from a roster that is already devoid of any major talent. This in-turn could create some incredible pressure on Irving to try and do too much right out of the gate. Opposing teams will have the luxury on focusing solely on shutting him down on a nightly basis, thus draining most of the value from his current odds.
Derrick Williams 4/1
The Minnesota Timberwolves made Derrick Williams the second pick in this year’s draft, who was arguably the most talented athlete available in this year’s crop of players. The 6-foot-8 power forward has the ability to play inside, but also the soft shooting touch that makes him equally as dangerous from beyond the arc. He joins a roster that also includes rookie guard Ricky Rubio and veterans such as Kevin Love and Michael Beasley to form a young nucleus of talent. This situation should allow Williams to excel right out of the gate, thus making him the most solid choice to win this year’s award
Jimmer Fredette 6/1
The sharp-shooter out of BYU made a splash in his NBA debut with Sacramento with 21 points in 35 minutes of action in a preseason game against Golden State. There is little doubt that Fredette will score his fair share of points this season, but he could easily remain fairly one-dimensional until the rest of his playing skills make the transition from the college game to the NBA. There is definitely some value in his current odds, but it remains to be seen if a nightly barrage of three-pointers will be enough to take home the prize.
Kemba Walker 7/1
The hero of Connecticut’s unlikely run to last year’s national title now finds himself trying to translate his intangible skills to the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats. It appears he will start the season as the Bobcat’s backup point guard with D.J. Augustin holding down the starting role for now. Whether or not Walker can work himself into the starting five in a short matter of time will have a huge impact on his ability to make a significant contribution to the team in this shortened season. If this process gets delayed, it will certainly hinder his ability to garner enough support for Rookie of the Year honors. He is the type of player that may need a few seasons before his game evolves enough to be a true star at this level.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.