With the 2017-18 NBA season just around the corner, it’s time to check out the futures market. Odds have been posted for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, and as we go to press, LA Lakers Lonzo Ball is at the top of the list.


Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers (+225)

He has yet to play a game in the NBA, but Lonzo Ball is already on his second signature shoe model. However, this isn't the reason oddsmakers believe he's the most likely candidate to win Rookie of the Year at the season's conclusion. His court vision and passing ability were unparalleled in college and these skills often transition smoothly to the NBA, which is why he was selected second overall in this year's draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. Even though Ball has a funky shot release, he hasn't had any issues putting the ball in the basket, shooting a respectable 55.1% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range in his first and only season with the UCLA Bruins. As long as he keeps his focus on the court and his father, Lavar Ball, doesn't interfere with his basketball development, Lonzo has a great shot at the award playing for the glamorous Lakers. 


Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (+275)

Not having played a meaningful game since the 2015-16 NCAA basketball season due to a broken foot, Ben Simmons will be looking to shake off some rust in the upcoming NBA season. The Australian phenom was drafted first overall in the 2016 draft and missed the entirety of last season, which makes him eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award this year. Similar to Lonzo Ball, an outstanding passing ability is Simmons’ calling card as he makes the most difficult passes look easy, even though he stands 6-foot-10. He isn’t as good of a long-range shooter as Ball, but offers better value than the Laker at +275 odds.


Dennis Smith, Dallas Mavericks (+400)

Arguably the most entertaining rookie to watch this NBA season will be Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith. The Mavs drafted the NC State product ninth overall, undoubtedly enamoured with his raw athleticism and explosiveness. He hasn't disappointed so far. The quick-footed point guard turned many heads in Summer League, including oddsmakers'. If he can sharpen up his shot and become a productive contributor in Rick Carlisle's pick and roll system, he’ll thrive this season. 


*Odds as of September 26, 2017