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Lonzo Ball considered favorite for Rookie of the Year over Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons

Bovada pegs Ball as a 3/1 favorite to win ROY.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons expected to make their NBA debuts this upcoming season (contingent on being healthy!), the odds seem stacked for one member of the Philadelphia 76ers to take home Rookie of the Year honors.

However, one prominent sports book thinks the crown will go to a player set to take Tinseltown by storm. Bovada released their odds for Rookie of the Year, and they currently have Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball as the odds-on favorite to win the award at 5/2. Ben Simmons is second at 3/1, and Markelle Fultz is third at 5/1.

Let’s go to their collegiate stats, shall we?

Points per game

Markelle Fultz: 23.2

Ben Simmons: 19.2

Lonzo Ball: 14.6

Advantage: Sixers

Field goal percentage

Ben Simmons: 56 percent

Lonzo Ball: 55.6 percent

Markelle Fultz: 47 percent

Advantage: (barely) Sixers

Three-point percentage

Markelle Fultz: 41.3 percent

Lonzo Ball: 41.2 percent

Ben Simmons: We can just leave that out.

Advantage: (barely) Sixers


Ben Simmons: 11.8

Lonzo Ball: 6.0

Markelle Fultz: 5.7

Advantage: Sixers


Lonzo Ball: 7.6

Markelle Fultz: 5.9

Ben Simmons: 4.8

Advantage: Lakers


Ben Simmons: 2.0

Lonzo Ball: 1.8

Markelle Fultz: 1.6

Advantage: Sixers

The competition for Rookie of the Year is still based primarily on basic stats, and the Sixers rookies have Ball beat in nearly every major category, although some margins are slimmer than others. Perhaps Bovada feels as though the statistical load will be so evenly divided among Fultz, Simmons and Joel Embiid that it’ll affect their ability to put up big numbers themselves, while Ball will have free reign in Los Angeles. That’s the only conceivably fair argument, but Simmons and Fultz impact the game in so many more ways than Ball that it should make up for the more evenly distributed usage.

Who will win Rookie of the Year is certainly a silly conversation to be having one day after the draft, although it’s a good indication of who the public thinks will have the most immediate impact. Fultz seems like the type of guy who always has a chip on his shoulder, and Simmons is out to show those who may have forgotten about him just how good he is. Maybe they can use this as another motivating tool.

In other Rookie of the Year news, this past season’s winner will be announced at the NBA Awards show Monday on TNT. Embiid, Dario Saric and Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon are the finalists. If Embiid or Saric were to win, it would set up the chance for the Sixers to become just the fifth team in NBA history to have players win back-to-back Rookie of the Year awards next season.

No pressure, Markelle and Ben.

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