Dario Saric is having himself quite the start to 2017, and Joel Embiid’s absence has allowed him to carve out a bigger role in Philadelphia’s offense. The odds in Vegas have shifted accordingly, and he is now the odds favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award at the end of the 2017 season.
Saric is currently listed at -200 by Bovada, and here’s a look at his closest competition:
- Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks +300
- Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers +375
- Marquese Chriss, Phoenix Suns +1000
- Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings +1000
This is quite the climb for The Homie, who didn’t even make the cut for our post from last summer. Back then, Ben Simmons (sigh) was the runaway favorite to win the award, with Embiid well behind the pack at +1400. That either one is in the mix today is a testament to the seasons they’ve had and an indictment of the other rookies in this class.
The question that remains is this — can Embiid’s abbreviated season edge out lesser performances from players like Saric and Brogdon? My vote would be yes, because he was the best player in the class by an astounding margin. His closest peers were NBA All-Stars, and the rest of his rookie classmates were nowhere close to that level regardless of how many games they’ve played.
Either way, kudos to Saric for scratching and clawing his way into the conversation. If he continues his stellar run of play in the final 19 games, it might be his award to lose.