With averages of 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, Paulo Banchero was arguable the best players in college basketball last season as a member of Duke. At just 19 years old, he has an opportunity to become the first Orlando Magic player since Mike Miller in 2001 to win this award. Aside from his averages, his efficiency was also through the roof as he shot 47.8 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three-point land. But, most importantly, the Orlando Magic roster is currently constructed in a really favorable way for Banchero to win this award. With a bunch of talented players and no egos involved, Banchero will definitely get enough playing time as a started on the team to put up solid numbers and if he is able to lead his team in scoring that would definitely improve his case to win ROY honors. At +180 odds I think he is a really solid bet to lift this award, even if the Magic aren’t in playoff contention.
Another player worth looking at is Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. at +550 odds. Trading away Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks has opened up the roster for Smith to start and as we’ve seen in previous years, more playing time means a bigger usage rate which could lead to higher productivity on the court. One skill that he can use to his advantage is three-point shooting. He enters the NBA after shooting 42% from beyond-the-arc at Auburn last season which should translate well into the three-point friendly Rockets offense.