LaMelo Ball’s Odds For 2021 NBA ROTY Back On Top With Return

  • LaMelo Ball’s odds to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Award have soared to -250.
  • Anthony Edwards now has +150 odds to win the ROTY award.
  • Tyrese Haliburton (+500) and Immanuel Quickley (+5000) are the only others listed.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year race has once again undergone significant change.

Nearly a month ago, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that LaMelo Ball was expected to miss the rest of the season with a right wrist fracture. However, news broke late Monday night that Ball has been cleared to resume individual basketball activity and could return to the lineup in 7-10 days.

With the news of a possible return, odds have once again shifted. Those betting on the NBA will find Ball as the new favorite, moving Minnesota Timberwolves rookie, Anthony Edwards, to a slight underdog in the ROTY race.

2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

  • LaMelo Ball -250
  • Anthony Edwards +150
  • Tyrese Haliburton +500
  • Immanuel Quickley +5000

Enough, But Too Late?

Ball is currently averaging 15.9 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds through 41 games. Anthony Edwards is averaging 18.1 points, 2.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds through 58 games. Although Ball has objectively the better numbers, the big concern is if he has missed too many games already.

Looking at the Hornets’ schedule, the 7-10-day timetable would likely keep him out of a back-to-back on April 27 and April 28 to give the young guard some extra time for his return on May 1 against the Detroit Pistons.

Patrick Ewing holds the record for fewest games played by a Rookie of the Year winner at 50. If Ball returns against the Pistons, he could play a max of 51 games. One thing to note, this is a 72-game season as opposed to the regular 82-game season, which could allow voters to overlook the small number of games.

Circumstances Matter

The universal consensus is that Ball is a better player than Edwards, it’s just the injury keeping him away from the award. Sound similar? Last season, Zion Williamson was widely considered the best rookie, but only appeared in 24 games. Williamson eventually lost the race to Ja Morant, who appeared in 67 games.

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This is also the same debate over Joel Embiid and the MVP race. Embiid has played 2 fewer games than Ball this season but is behind Nikola Jokic in the MVP race, who has played 1 fewer game than Edwards.

Regardless, anyone looking at online sportsbooks’ Rookie of the Year winner odds, have a lot to think about. There’s even a possibility that LaMelo doesn’t end up returning this season and the Hornets decide to play it safe with their young rising star.

But at the end of the day, it’s hard to forget just how special Ball’s season was prior to the injury.