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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lonzo Ball listed as early favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year

Only one day after the NBA Draft, prognosticators already have an eye on the Rookie of the Year race for 2017-2018. The award for this past season has not yet been passed out, but that didn’t stop Bovada from releasing odds for next season’s award.

Lonzo Ball, selected with the second overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers, tops the list as the early favorite for the honor. The former UCLA Bruin is listed at 5/2 to win Rookie of the Year.

Ball is followed immediately by two teammates, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz of the Philadelphia 76ers. Fultz was the top pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, after the 76ers traded with the Celtics to acquire the first overall selection. Simmons was drafted first overall by the Sixers last June, though he missed the entire season due to injury, leaving him eligible for Rookie of the Year in 2017-2018.

Other notable names populate the rest of the list, with the only top picks omitted from early odds being Knicks’ selection Frank Ntilikina and Trail Blazers’ choice Zach Collins. Later first-round picks John Collins and Justin Jackson, both considered NBA ready, sneak into this list as long-shot choices.

Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

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