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USC Trojans guard Bronny James drives to the net against Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson during the first half at McKale Center. We're looking at the Bronny James odds ahead of his rookie season.
USC Trojans guard Bronny James drives to the net against Arizona Wildcats guard Pelle Larsson during the first half at McKale Center. Photo by Zachary BonDurant/USA TODAY Sports via Imagn.

LeBron James' son has officially made it to the NBA, and he'll be playing alongside his father, as we look at the Bronny James odds from our best NBA betting sites.

For years there's been speculation that LeBron James would one day play with his son Bronny James in the NBA. That day has arrived after non-stop discourse about the possibility dating back to Bronny's junior year of high school when he was labelled a blue chip recruit.

The USC product never quite lived up to his billing as a top-30 recruit, but he managed to parlay his high school success, brief flashes with the Trojans, and NBA Draft Combine performance into being selected 55th by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Obviously, his father being one of the two greatest players in NBA history had something to do with his draft buzz - as well as the Lakers wanting to appease their soon-to-be free agent star. Regardless of how or why James is on the NBA championship odds-contending Lakers, he will likely be taking the court in the upcoming season.

So where does he stand in the NBA Rookie of the Year odds and does he have any chance of actually winning the award?

Bronny James Rookie of the Year odds

Alexandre Sarr+350 +425+450+400
Zaccharie Risacher+450 +625+500+450
Stephon Castle+700+700 +700+700
Zach Edey+1100+900+1200+1200
Dalton Knecht+1200+900 +1000+1100
Reed Sheppard+1200+1100+800+1100
Donovan Clingan+1200 +1800+2000+1600 
Tidjane Salaun+1200+1400 +2000+1200
Cody Williams+1400+1500+1800+1600
Ronald Holland+1500+1400 +1500+1800
Bronny James+30000 +25000+20000+25000

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Will Bronny James win NBA Rookie of the Year?

History says there's almost no chance that James will be able to win NBA Rookie of the Year and the odds agree, which is why a $10 bet on these odds would pay a whopping $3,000 profit.

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The first NBA Rookie of the Year award was given out following the 1952-53 season, and since then, only one player drafted outside of the top 36 picks has ever won it. That was Woody Sauldsberry of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1957-58, a player who began his professional career with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, just one second-round draft pick has won NBA Rookie of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon. And Brogdon's rookie class was among the worst in NBA history - he actually averaged the fewest points per game (10.2) of any winner in league history. That's more than double the amount of points that James averaged at USC this past season (4.8).

Helping Brogdon's cause was that No. 1 pick Ben Simmons missed his entire rookie season with an injury - foreshadowing how Simmons' career would play out. 

The NBA introduced the lottery system in 1984, and since then, just one non-lottery pick has been named the top rookie in the league. New York Knicks point guard turned NBA head coach turned ridiculed commentator Mark Jackson won it after being selected with the 18th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. As a rookie, he averaged 13.6 PPG and 10.6 APG.

One of the worst draft classes in NBA history

Now, there's an argument that the 2024 NBA Draft could have the worst pool of talent in history, so does that help James' case? Not exactly. There's two drafts that have been tabbed as borderline disgraceful - 2000 and 2013.

In 2000, Mike Miller, yes that Mike Miller, won NBA Rookie of the Year. The NBA journeyman who won two titles with LeBron on the Miami Heat averaged 11.9 PPG as a rookie after being selected fifth overall.

So while Miller had far from an All-Star career, he was still the fifth overall pick and went on to win NBA Sixth Man of the Year. If Bronny went on to have Miller's career, he'd be considered one of the best players ever picked outside of the top 50.

Let's move on to 2011, which I think is a better example of James' case for winning NBA Rookie of the Year, but it's still not in his favor. That's the year the Cleveland Cavaliers infamously took Anthony Bennett No. 1, the only Canadian ever selected first.

That class ended up producing two future Hall of Famers in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert, but it was Michael Carter-Williams who won NBA Rookie of the Year. The 11th overall pick started 70 games for a 19-win Philadelphia 76ers team and averaged 16.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 6.2 APG.

Something has gone terribly wrong in L.A. if Bronny is playing enough to produce those numbers.

Assessing the Lakers roster

Is there a path to James playing meaningful minutes on the Lakers? His agent, Rich Paul, said James wouldn't be signing a two-way contract, so it's safe to assume L.A. plans to have LeBron's son on the roster for the upcoming season. 

But how much time will he get? Well, the Lakers hired JJ Redick and drafted Bronny to keep LeBron happy, willing to re-sign as he attempts to make a championship run. If L.A. is serious about winning a title, they may even be looking to add another star with LeBron and Anthony Davis.

Last season, L.A. had 12 players play 10-plus minutes per game. This does not include LeBron, who plans to decline his player option but will likely re-sign. Three of those players have player options (D'Angelo Russell, Jaxson Hayes, Cam Reddish). Two of those players are unrestricted free agents (Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie), and one is a restricted free agent (Max Christie).

The Lakers also used the 17th overall pick on Tennessee's Dalton Knecht, one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball last season. He's likely to play about 20 MPG off the bench as a sharpshooter from behind the arc.

Knecht is getting odds as short as +900 to win the award, implying a 10% probability - which is why I highlighted him as a player to fade in my NBA Rookie of the Year predictions. That means James has to compete with his teammate, who plays a similar position, for it.

Best-case scenario for James and the Lakers

In an absolute best-case scenario, James is playing the same number of minutes that Christie did as a rookie in 2022-23 after being the 35th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Michigan State.

Like James, Christie was a blue-chip recruit and one-and-done that didn't quite live up to it. But he still managed to average more than double what Bronny did at USC (9.3 PPG). As a rookie, Christie played 12.5 MPG and averaged 3.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 0.5 APG while shooting 41.9% from three.

I'm not sure James will have the opportunity to put up those numbers.

Remember, he's been knocked for his shooting and ball handling. James is a super athletic defender, most frequently compared to players like De'Anthony Melton and Davion Mitchell as high-end comps.

Neither of them has averaged over 10 PPG throughout their careers.

So, while the thought of Bronny following in his father's footsteps and winning this award is cool, if he's a factor at all as a rookie, that's a win for the Lakers.

Best odds: +30000 via DraftKings | Implied probability: 0.33%

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Past NBA Rookie of the Year winners

YearNameTeamPreseason odds
2023-24Victor WembanyamaSan Antonio Spurs-145
2022-23Paolo BancheroOrlando Magic+200
2021-22Scottie BarnesToronto Raptors+1100
2020-21LaMelo BallCharlotte Hornets+400
2019-20Ja MorantMemphis Grizzlies+250
2018-19Luka DoncicDallas Mavericks+250
2017-18Ben SimmonsPhiladelphia 76ers+225

How to bet on NBA Rookie of the Year

Betting on the NBA Rookie of the Year (ROY) is pretty straightforward. First, pick a reputable sportsbook that offers ROY futures. Check out the odds for different rookies; for instance, if Player A has +300 odds and Player B has +500, Player A is more likely to win.

Place your bet by deciding how much you want to wager. If you bet $100 on Player A at +300 and they win, you’ll get $400 back ($100 stake + $300 profit). Keep an eye on the rookies’ performances throughout the season to see how your bet is shaping up.

Now, why do odds move in future markets? Well, it’s mostly about performance and perception. If a rookie starts playing really well or gets injured, their odds will change. A lot of people betting on the same player can also cause the odds to shift as sportsbooks try to manage their risk.

Plus, expert predictions and analysis can influence how people bet, which in turn affects the odds. Understanding these factors can help you make smarter bets and maybe even catch some favorable odds shifts.

How to read NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Reading NBA Rookie of the Year (ROY) odds is simple once you know the basics. Odds are typically presented in a format like +300 or -150. Positive odds (e.g., +300) indicate how much profit you'd make on a $100 bet.

For instance, a $100 bet at +300 odds would win you $300, plus your initial $100 stake, totaling $400. Negative odds (e.g., -150) show how much you need to bet to win $100. So, a $150 bet at -150 odds would win you $100, plus your $150 stake, totaling $250.

Odds also reflect the probability of an outcome. Lower odds (e.g., +100) suggest a higher probability of the player winning, while higher odds (e.g., +1000) indicate a lower probability. Sportsbooks adjust these odds based on factors like player performance, injuries, and betting patterns.

For example, if Rookie A has +200 odds and Rookie B has +500 odds, Rookie A is considered more likely to win. If you bet $100 on Rookie A and they win, you'd get $300 back ($200 profit + $100 stake). Reading and understanding these odds helps you make informed betting decisions.

NBA Rookie of the Year FAQs

Who is the NBA Rookie of the Year favorite?

Washington Wizards rookie, and No. 2 overall pick, Alexandre Sarr opened as the favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year. His odds are as short as +350, implying a 22.22% probability he'll win the award.

What are Bronny James' NBA Rookie of the Year odds?

The shortest odds for Bronny James to win NBA Rookie of the Year are +20000. Those odds imply a 0.50% probability he will take home the award.

When was Bronny James drafted?

Bronny James was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 55th pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft.

How many points did Bronny James average at USC?

As a freshman at USC, Bronny James averaged 4.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 2.1 APG while shooting 36.6% from the floor and 26.7% from three. He played 25 games, starting six, and averaged 19.3 MPG.

How much will Bronny James get paid?

It's not yet clear what Bronny James' rookie contract will look like because the rookie wage scale only applies to first-round picks.

Usually players drafted in the second round sign contracts with less guaranteed money - and some sign two-way contracts. But his agent, Rich Paul, said Bronny won't be signing a two-way contract.

It's likely that Bronny James' rookie contract will be four years and between $7 and $8 million.

NBA betting odds pages

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