Oklahoma City Thunder fans held their breath on Wednesday after learning that rookie sensation Chet Holmgren suffered significant ligament damage after suffering a foot injury in a Pro-Am game in Seattle over the weekend. The second overall pick was guarding LeBron James when he collapsed. After the news broke, his odds of winning the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year dropped from +475 to +1000.
It’s unclear how much time Holmgren will miss while doctors determine his return date, but it’s certainly shaken up the ROTY race.
One of the few concerns about Holmgren entering the draft was his physical condition. Many doubted his lanky, 7-foot, 195-pound frame could handle the rigors of the professional game. Some may refer to this injury as proof that they were correct, but keep in mind that this was a fluke play, and landing on someone’s foot behind the basket might happen to anyone.
OKBet Odds Update: This story was written before it was announced that Holmgren would miss the entire 2022-23 season. He has since been removed from the list. okbet sportsboook ph
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) leads Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3), Oklahoma City Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins (21) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) across the court during an NBA Summer League game against the Houston Rockets at Thomas & Mack Center on July 9, 2022. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports is required to provide credit.
Is Rookie Holmgren still a contender for ROTY?
Although there is still about a month until training camp, foot injuries can linger. Nonetheless, we don’t know how much time he might actually miss. It’s a coin toss. Holmgren was almost certainly going to have a fairly established role for the Thunder from the start, which is why he was included in the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year in OKbet odds.
To be honest, with Holmgren’s build, I believe it will take him some time to grow into his body and succeed in the NBA. On this OKC team, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey are likely to see more minutes than Holmgren.
Holmgren wasn’t worth a shot even at +475. Regardless of how long he’s out, the big man isn’t the ROTY pick.
Other NBA Rookie ROY Okbet betting options for 2023
Personally, I believe Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year, and the odds (+220) reflect that. He’s joining a team in desperate need of a star who can seize the bull by the horns and lead by example. Banchero is built for the NBA, with a strong frame and a well-rounded skill set that allows him to score at all three levels. Orlando isn’t a contender in NBA Championship odds, but he’ll help them a lot.
Keegan Murray of the Sacramento Kings is another dark horse. He dominated the Summer League, winning MVP after averaging 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and two assists per game. Murray should have plenty of opportunities to shine in Year 1 because Sacramento is a little thin at forward. He just proved in Vegas that he can get buckets at the professional level.
You should also keep an eye on Jabari Smith Jr. and Jaden Ivey. Smith has a spectacular shot and fits in perfectly with a young, exciting Houston Rockets team. Meanwhile, Ivey has a Ja Morant-like motor and fits the Detroit Pistons’ strategy.
Chet Holmgren will be a great player for many years to come. If his injury isn’t too significant, I expect him to have a strong freshman season. However, Banchero is a superior candidate in the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year chances.
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