The 2022 NBA Draft is in the books, the players have found their homes, and early Rookie of the Year odds are out across the major sportsbooks.
It’s always an exciting time of year as each team dreams of landing the next Steph Curry or LeBron James that will take the franchise to the next level. With the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Washington Wizards selected shooting guard/small forward Johnny Davis out of Wisconsin.
The Wizards haven’t been producing much magic in recent years and are hoping that Davis will provide the spark they need to work their way back to relevance.
Davis had an outstanding year playing in the Big Ten last season, averaging 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals for the Badgers. He’ll look to make an immediate impact for a team that could use all the secondary scoring it can get.
Let’s take a peek at Davis’ Rookie of the Year odds and the rest of the favorites from this year’s draft class. NBA fans in the state can bet at five Maryland casinos while the state continues to wait for mobile betting apps.
2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|Paolo Banchero, ORL||+350||+300||+300||+350|
|Jabari Smith Jr., HOU||+420||+350||+350||+320|
|Chet Holmgren, OKC||+480||+475||+475||+550|
|Jaden Ivey, DET||+650||+450||+600||+550|
|Keegan Murray, SAC||+1100||+900||+900||+1000|
|Bennedict Mathurin, IND||+1500||+1200||+1200||+1000|
|Shaedon Sharpe, POR||+1800||+1200||+1300||+1400|
|Dyson Daniels, NO||+2000||+1500||+1600||+1400|
|Johnny Davis, WAS||+3200||+2000||+2000||+1800|
|Ousmane Dieng, OKC||+3200||+2500||+2500||+1800|
Analyzing the Favorites
Before the draft took place, it was a foregone conclusion that the top three off the board would be Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith Jr., and Chet Holmgren. It was just a matter of where they’d end up.
Now that we know they’re landing spots let’s look at each player’s profile.
Paolo Banchero, PF, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic haven’t had a Rookie of the Year winner since Mike Miller won in the 2000-2001 season. That could all change this year with first overall pick Paolo Banchero.
The former Duke superstar is the odds-on favorite to take the award home this year as he looks to turn the rebuilding Magic around.
Banchero was one of the best players in college basketball last year, averaging 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds for the perennial powerhouse Blue Devils. He won ACC Rookie of the Year and was a second-team All-American.
The 6-10 forward will get a ton of playing time with the Magic this year, and it won’t be a surprise if he instantly becomes the team’s leading scorer.
Chet Holmgren, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
With the second overall pick, the OKC Thunder took the Gonzaga giant Chet Holmgren. Holmgren towers at 7 feet but has yet to fill out, weighing 195 pounds.
The consensus five-star recruit and former National High School Player of the Year won the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 for the Zags and was named First-Team All-WCC.
In 32 games with Gonzaga, the 20-year-old center averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 boards, and 3.7 blocks per game.
Holmgren has gained attention for his strong basketball IQ, and he has the potential to be a defensive force and contribute significantly offensively as well.
He shot 39% from three-point range last year and converted 50% of his two-point jump shots. His unique skillset gives him a solid chance at this year’s Rookie of the Year award.
Jabari Smith Jr., PF, Houston Rockets
Jabari Smith Jr. landed with the Houston Rockets as the third overall pick after weeks of speculation of him heading to Orlando with the top choice.
While he didn’t get the honor of being picked first, Smith Jr. might have a better path forward with the Rockets than he would have with the Magic.
He’ll fill a need as a frontcourt scoring threat and round out a solid core group of players, including guard Jalen Green and center Alperen Sengun.
The Auburn product finished last season with 16.9 points and 7.4 boards per game. He was a consensus second-team All-American and SEC Freshman of the Year.
Smith Jr. turned 19 in May and will look to be a vital piece of the 20-62 Houston Rockets rebuild.
How Does Johnny Davis Stack Up?
So far, oddsmakers have Davis as more of a dark horse than a favorite for next season’s Rookie of the Year award.
The major sportsbooks have Davis hovering between +1800 and +3200, putting him somewhere in the middle of the pack. Those are some juicy sleeper odds for someone of Davis’ caliber.
The shooting guard/small forward racked up the accolades last year at Wisconsin, winning the Jerry West Award and the Lute Olson Award while earning Big Ten Player of the Year and consensus first-team All-American honors.
Davis is an agile player and a solid scorer off the dribble. He’s got an excellent midrange jump shot and can post-up smaller defenders. His best game last year came against Purdue when he scored 37 points and had 14 rebounds in a shocking road upset.
The Wizards will hope Davis’ strong scoring last season translates to the NBA and provides some scoring depth to a team that finished near the bottom of the league in points per game (108.6).
Photo by Larry Radloff