- The 2021 NBA Draft went mostly as expected, with Cade Cunningham going first to the Detroit Pistons.
- Cunningham, regarded as an NBA-ready prospect, leads the Rookie of the Year odds boards with +275 odds.
- A potential dark horse is Alperen Sengun, who went 16 to the Rockets, with +1600 odds.
LAS VEGAS - The 2021 NBA Draft just wrapped up, with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley being selected in order as the first, second and third picks.
Below them are Jalen Suggs and Scottie Barnes, slotted fifth and fourth respectively on the NBA Rookie of the Year odds.After that, however, the odds get a bit more intriguing, with 11th pick James Bouknight and 16th pick Alperen Sengun making appearances.
2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year
- Cade Cunningham +275
- Jalen Green +500
- Evan Mobley +550
- Jalen Suggs +750
- Scottie Barnes +800
- James Bouknight +1200
- Alperen Sengun +1600
- Josh Giddey +1600
Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons, +275
Cunningham looks like an obvious All-Star type player, and it seems fairly unlikely that he doesn’t reach that level of play at some point during his career. He’s a smooth, 6’8’’ ball handler who can shoot the ball well - the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor compared him to a shorter Ben Simmons with a jump shot.
Before that scares anyone off after Simmons’ woeful playoff performance, it’s important to remember that Cunningham is already a better shooter than Simmons - he shot 40% from three at Oklahoma State, and 84.6% from the free throw line.
He’s walking into what looks to be a complete rebuild in Detroit, but it’s one that’s been in progress enough to make the team at least exciting with the addition of Cunningham. The Pistons don’t have the best supporting cast for Cunningham, but they do have a lot of potentially exciting young talent that he can bring the best out of.
Killian Hayes, last year’s seventh pick in the draft, had an injury-ridden opening season with the Pistons, and perhaps the addition of Cunningham can take some of the pressure off of him. Saddiq Bey, another 2020 rookie, was fairly exciting for Detroit, shooting 38% from the three point line and being awarded as a 2020-2021 All-Rookie player.
Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, +1600
The Houston Rockets took Jalen Green with the second pick in the draft, so why is the focus on the other guy's odds? Simply put, Alperen Sengun has a track record of pro-level success that looks similar to the track record Luka Doncic had before coming to the USA from Spain.
His European resume is not on the same level as Doncic’s was, but it’s pretty close, and worth knowing for NBA betting fans.
While Doncic played for Real Madrid, one of the biggest sports organizations in Spain, and won the MVP of the Euroleague at 18 years old, Sengun played for Besiktas, one of the biggest sports organizations in Turkey, and won the MVP of the Turkish Basketball Super League at 18 years old.
While the Euroleague MVP is a bigger award than the Turkish league MVP, it’s worth noting Sengun’s history of elite-level play in a serious basketball league at such a young age.
He’s a talented passer, a potentially decent shooter down the line, and has legitimate post skills for his age and size - and at 18 years old, standing 6’10’’ and weighing in at 240 lbs, he could grow a fair bit.
Sengun is a player to keep an eye on because of his resume and skills, and any online gambler looking to wager on the NBA Rookie of the Year odds should learn his name.