New Orleans Pelicans first round draft pick Buddy Hield said after being selected he has his eyes on the Rookie of the Year award. Unsurprisingly Las Vegas agrees and has Hield second behind first overall pick Ben Simmons in early betting odds. Simmons leads the pack at +350 with Hield (+550), Brandon Ingram (+650), and Kris Dunn (+750) nipping at his heels according to Bovada. Blog favorites Jamal Murray and Denzel Valentine tie for fifth at +1200.
The Pelicans offer the potential of playing time and shots to Hield right away, critical to competing for the Rookie of the Year award. It isn't difficult to pencil in Buddy Hield as the starting shooting guard with Eric Gordon expected to depart in free agency. There are only so many shots to go around and Hield will be provided every opportunity to produce the box score stats necessary to compete for the award.
Chris Paul won the Rookie of the Year in 2006. Anthony Davis finished second behind Damian Lillard in 2013.