- Eric Paschall was a late entrant to 2020 Rookie of the Year betting
- The Warriors’ power forward has moved to fifth-favorite
- Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant remains the favorite
Not many people expected to see the 41st-overall pick in genuine Rookie of the Year contention. The latest Rookie of the Year odds suggest that Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall is right in the mix to win the award. His +1200 price puts him fifth in the market, ahead of lottery picks Tyler Herro, Rui Hachimura and Coby White.
Paschall was such an outsider at the start of the season that he wasn’t even on the odds board until November 20th. In the few days since then, his odds have shortened, putting him at the front of the chasing pack behind Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and undrafted Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn.
2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|Ja Morant (Grizzlies)||+190|
|Zion Williamson (Pelicans)||+230|
|RJ Barrett (Knicks)||+500|
|Kendrick Nunn (Heat)||+600|
|Eric Paschall (Warriors)||+1200|
|Tyler Herro (Heat)||+1600|
|Rui Hachimura (Wizards)||+1600|
|Coby White (Bulls)||+2000|
|PJ Washington (Hornets)||+4000|
|De’Andre Hunter (Hawks)||+4000|
|Brandon Clarke (Grizzlies)||+4500|
|Jarrett Culver (Timberwolves)||+5000|
|Darius Garland (Cavaliers)||+5000|
Odds taken Nov. 28.
Whether we call it tanking or not, there’s no way of avoiding the fact that the Golden State Warriors are bad this season. With Klay Thompson likely sitting out the year, Steph Curry absent for months, and Draymond Green banged up, Golden State is destined for good lottery odds. It’s about player development for the Warriors this year, with Paschall at the forefront.
Golden State notched their second win of the month on Wednesday night, but despite some positive performances, victories have been rare events. Paschall is getting extra minutes due to all the injuries and averaging a solid 17.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG, but losing 60 games may well harm his Rookie of the Year candidacy.
One positive is that fellow Rookie of the Year contenders Morant and Barrett are on teams that will lose a lot of games, too. Paschall, however, doesn’t have the pedigree or the numbers to compare with those two at the moment.
He needs to take his production to another level to be a true ROY contender, getting his scoring closer to 20 points per game.
Second Rounder Success Is Rare
There’s a reason second-round picks are nowhere to be seen in pre-season Rookie of the Year betting. Since the award was created in the 1952-53 season, only two winners – Woody Sauldsberry in 1957-58 and Malcolm Brogdon in 2016-17 – have been selected later than 18th-overall. Since 1988-89, Brogdon is the only player picked outside the top-11 selections to win Rookie of the Year.
Eric Paschall no-look dime ?
Glenn Robinson III reverse jam ?
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 28, 2019
There are a couple of takeaways from that trend. The first could go without saying: the most-talented players are taken at the top of the draft. But additionally, the expectation and hype around the higher draft picks give them an advantage when it comes to the voting. Being a late pick isn’t a major disadvantage, but players like Brogdon and Paschall have to produce a special season to really catch the eye of ROY voters, who are human beings swayed by the what’s in the news.
Paschall, leading the way on a depleted Warriors team, has received his fair share of attention to date, though that will wane through the year. He has to outperform top picks like Barrett and Morant – voters will default to them if it’s close.
Having registered the second-most minutes on the team so far, gametime has been no concern for Paschall. However, with Curry, Kevon Looney, and D’Angelo Russell all due to return sooner or later, that could change later in the year.
As much as the Warriors want to develop Paschall, it will be hard to keep him at 31.4 minutes per game if Looney, Curry, Russell, and Green are all healthy.
As much as the front office will want a high draft pick, it also won’t want to finish dead-last in the league in the team’s first season at their new arena. It remains to be seen if the Warriors will sit healthy stars in order to get slightly better lottery odds.
Paschall’s chances of winning Rookie of the Year are reliant on starting and finishing games all the way through the campaign – the Warriors will have some difficult decisions to make if everyone gets healthy.
Still a Longshot
As the +1200 price suggests, Paschall is no more than a longshot for Rookie of the Year. There’s not much value in backing the 41st-overall pick at the moment.
He may well end up receiving votes, but pipping Morant, Barrett or even Williamson is farfetched. It would take an incredible few months from Paschall and brutal drop-offs or injuries for the top-three picks. That’s not to mention Nunn, who has consolidated his spot starting in the backcourt for the red-hot Heat.
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