Lauri Markkanen is in the conversation — barely.
The former Arizona Wildcats forward was given 33/1 odds to win the award, tied for the worst odds among listed players.
Here is the full list:
Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers — 5/2
Dennis Smith, Dallas Mavericks — 3/1
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers — 7/2
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics — 5/1
Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia 76ers — 9/1
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings — 9/1
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns — 16/1
Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets — 16/1
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks — 33/1
Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic — 33/1
Justin Jackson, Sacramento Kings — 33/1
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls — 33/1
Markkanen, selected seventh overall by the Chicago Bulls, averaged 14 points and 9 rebounds per game on 29.3 percent shooting in three Las Vegas Summer League games, before sitting out the final two games with a toe injury.
The Finn’s stats are skewed negatively because he shot 1-13 from the field in one game. The other two, he shot a respectable 11-28 from the field (6-15 from 3).
Markkanen should have plenty of opportunities to see the floor for the rebuilding Bulls in his rookie season, but evidently expectations aren’t that high for the 7-footer.
In fact, on BlogABull.com — SB Nation’s Chicago Bulls site — they are already debating if the Bulls made the wrong pick.
So are folks in the national media.
“This is going to shock you, but a player whom most draft experts thought wasn’t one of the seven best players in the draft class … didn’t look like one of the seven best players in the draft class,” wrote Henry Bushnell of Yahoo! Sports.
“Markkanen converted less than 30 percent of his shots, was a minus offensively, and generally didn’t look comfortable on either end. That’s to be expected, to some extent, but it shouldn’t make Bulls fans feel much better about what was already a questionable pick.
“It’s possible we’re falling victim to confirmation bias here, and judging Markkanen’s performance harshly simply because we’re looking for evidence that the pick was a mistake. On the plus side, Markkanen did pull down nine rebounds per game. And the poor shooting is as much a product of the small sample size as anything. But the Finnish big man didn’t stand out like other top-10 picks did.”
When Bovada first released its Rookie of the Year odds on June 23, Markkanen was listed at 22/1.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire