Celtics

Payton Pritchard's Rookie of the Year award odds will surprise you Celtics fans

Celtics

Few rookies have made a larger impact for their team early in the 2020-21 NBA season than Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard.

The Oregon product was selected by Boston with the No. 26 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was the 2019-20 Pac-12 conference Player of the Year award winner and played four seasons for the Ducks.

Despite his impressive collegiate career, not many people expected him to be one of the top rookies over the first few weeks of his pro career.

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Pritchard scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting in Monday night's 126-114 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Tampa Bay. He also tallied eight assists and two rebounds in a career-high 32 minutes. 

He's averaging 8.6 points and 3.1 assists per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point range.

How has Pritchard's hot start impacted his odds for the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year award? He's still a long shot.

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Here are the latest betting lines for the award -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.

1. LaMelo Ball, Hornets: +200

2. James Wiseman, Warriors: +250

3. Anthony Edwards, T-Wolves: +500

4. Tyrese Haliburton, Kings: +800

5. Patrick Williams, Bulls: +1400

6. Killian Hayes, Pistons: +1600

7. Obi Toppin, Knicks: +1600

8. Isaac Okoro, Cavs: +2500

9. Cole Anthony, Magic: +2500

 

10. Deni Avdija, Wizards: +3000

15. Payton Pritchard, Celtics: +4000

Pritchard's stats aren't what you normally see from a top Rookie of the Year candidate, but in this case, his role and impact are just as important as the numbers.

 

Celtics Talk Podcast: Comparing Payton Pritchard to former MVPs; Exclusive interview with the rookie | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

 

Boston had the worst bench scoring in the league last season. Pritchard has not only improved that aspect, he's also giving the team much-needed production at a position that's been ravaged by injuries to veterans Kemba Walker and Jeff Teague.

If Pritchard continues to play a meaningful role in the Celtics' success, and they finish in the top four of the Eastern Conference standings, he absolutely should be part of the Rookie of the Year award debate.