July 19, 2017
NBA summer league is over, and if we’re being honest, it wasn’t the best couple of weeks for the Sixers. Top overall pick Markelle Fultz had an injury scare and saw his summer cut short early. But the good news for the Sixers is that the Washington product should be ready well in time for training camp.
Normally, folks would say summer league doesn’t really matter (*raises hand*), but that doesn’t seem to be the case to sports bettors. Both Fultz and Ben Simmons saw their Rookie of the Year odds drop over the last few weeks, per Bovada:
The 2017-18 rookie class looked very impressive as a whole during summer league. The risers here are Dallas point guard Dennis Smith, Jr. and Boston swingman Jayson Tatum. Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball’s odds stayed the same after he earned summer league MVP honors.
Rookie of the Year is often a counting stats award, so it makes sense why Smith and Ball are now the betting favorites. Those guys are going to get the keys to their respective teams all season and they were both very good in summer league. Tatum makes less sense for similar reasons because he’s on a playoff team with veteran depth at his position.
Fultz showed some serious scoring flashes in the two games he finished (20 points per game on 47-46-80 shooting will certainly play), but he will also have to learn how to coexist with another point guard type Simmons.
As for Simmons’ stock dropping, well, maybe that’s why he was tweeting to LeBron James yesterday:
On a related note, 2016-17 Rookie of the Year winner Malcolm Brogdon’s odds would’ve probably been off the board at this time last year. The Bucks rookie averaged 10-5-4 on 34 percent shooting in 31 minutes per game last summer.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
Like the new PhillyVoice Sports page on Facebook