- Sportsbooks believe there’s an excellent chance Zion Williamson will win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
- The 6’7″ freshman is averaging 22 points and 9.3 rebounds this season for the Blue Devils.
- Williamson has Duke in second place in the latest AP Top 25 rankings.
Zion Williamson is still in the midst of his freshman season at Duke, but that hasn’t stopped sportsbooks from forecasting his performance at this same time next year.
The burly 6’7″ forward is getting +300 odds to win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The insanely early odds are a testament to Williamson’s extraordinary play as the 18-year-old is posting the highest player efficiency rating in the history of college basketball while connecting on an absurd 75% of his two point field-goals.
This is the first time in recent memory that a college player has earned Rookie of the Year odds so early into his first year on campus. However, given Williamson’s play sportsbooks would have been justified in posting this prop months ago.
2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|Who Will Win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year Award?||Odds|
Williamson a Shoo-In to Be Picked 1st in 2019 NBA Draft
Sportsbooks listed Williamson as the odds-on favorite to be picked first in the 2019 NBA Draft as early as December 4th, and his legend has only grown since. The Spartanburg, South Carolina native has averaged 24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists since January and is on pace to break JJ Redick’s single season points record. He leads Duke in rebounds, blocks, and steals, and ranks second to fellow freshman phenom RJ Barrett in scoring and minutes played.
Zion Williamson ISN’T HUMAN! ? pic.twitter.com/ahUrI8d9w5
— Hyped Hoops (@HypedHoops) February 11, 2019
Unlike other high volume scorers, Williamson’s stats are far from empty. His two-way play has powered the Blue Devils to a sparkling 22-2 record and has the school securely in second place in the AP Top 25 rankings, just behind Tennessee.
Other players like Barrett, Ja Morant, and Rui Hachimura have earned the attention of scouts, but Williamson is the one player NBA teams are actively tanking for.
Williamson Has All the Tools to Succeed in the NBA
NBA journalists have spent months trying to find the right player comparison for Williamson, but they’ve ultimately come up short because of his off-the-charts athleticism and thoroughly unique skill set. He’s bigger than Larry Johnson, bouncier than Charles Barkley, and more polished than Shawn Kemp. The closest physical comparison might be to LeBron James, but even then Williamson is 35 pounds heavier and has a superior vertical.
Zion Williamson had 27 PTS, 12 REB, 3 STL, 1 BLK & almost 1 popped ball during Duke’s 23-PT comeback win against Louisville! pic.twitter.com/3z9YSYgrTF
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 13, 2019
The one thing most journalists and talent evaluators can agree upon is that Williamson is primed to succeed in the modern NBA, where teams are increasingly relying on smaller, quicker lineups. There’s no need to fret over what position he’ll play as the league is moving towards a positionless paradigm in which all five players can dribble, pass, shoot and get out in transition.
zion williamson on a fast break pic.twitter.com/SVbyi4a17H
— zach (@zach__cronin) February 5, 2019
Will there be growing pains? Sure, but Williamson will have no problem adjusting to the speed and physicality of the NBA.
Jump On Zion’s Odds Now
This prop is unique in the sense that it does not include odds for any other players. That alone should tell you just how much distance there is between Williamson and his peers. It’s a gap now, but it will be a yawning chasm within a few more months once Williamson leads Duke to the Final Four and wins Player of the Year honors by a landslide.
The distance between Williamson and his peers is a gap now, but it will be a yawning chasm within a few more months.
Other sportsbooks will begin releasing NBA Rookie of the Year odds closer to the beginning of the 2019-20 season, but by then you won’t be able to get Williamson at anything resembling plus odds.
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