NBA: Raptors Futures, Sportsbooks Not Giving Toronto Players a Great Shot to Win an Award

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NBA: Raptors Futures, Sportsbooks Not Giving Toronto Players a Great Shot to Win an Award

A lot of NBA futures are available on NBA betting sites now that the draft is over and most of the top free agents have signed with a team. The Raptors so far have had an inauspicious start to the season, losing point guard Fred VanVleet to the Houston Rockets, head coach Nick Nurse to the Philadelphia 76ers, and Victor Wembanyama to the San Antonio Spurs after landing the 13th pick in the draft.

The Raptors still have talent and one of the best players in the league in Pascal Siakam, but the sportsbooks are not providing promising Raptors odds this year, whether it be for the team to win anything or for an individual award.

Quick Take

  • Defensive Player of the Year, OG Anunoby not in the top 10
  • Why Scottie Barnes is a great pick to win Most Improved Player
  • Pascal Siakam tied with James Harden for 22nd best MVP odds

OG Anunoby ranks outside top 10 best DPOY odds

OG Anunoby was one of the favourites to win the Defensive Player of the Year award throughout last season. Anunoby even started campaigning for the award, declaring himself the best defender in the league. Early in November last year, Anunoby said “I’ve always wanted to be Defensive Player of the Year. I’ve always thought I was the best defender in the league.”

Anunoby is not among the favourites to win the award this year, he is tied for the 12th best odds with Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler at +2500 on Betway

Reigning DPOY Jaren Jackson Jr. is the betting favourite with +550 odds. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley has the second best odds at +700. Anunoby’s odds are surprisingly long considering he finished seventh in the voting last season and lead the league in steals per game. Anunoby will have a good chance to win the award again this year because he proved he can defend at a high level for an entire season and stay healthy for most of it. He’s also in his physical prime.

The biggest concern is whether or not Anunoby will be capable of defending at an elite level throughout the season while taking on a bigger role on offense now that VanVleet is gone.

Scottie Barnes’ chances at the Most Improved Player award

Heading into last season, the Raptors organization and a lot of their fans believed Scottie Barnes would make a huge leap in his second season. That did not happen. Barnes had his moments last year, but most of his numbers were similar to his rookie season or worse. Barnes will have a lot of chances to make that leap this year and should be a contender for this award. He is tied for the seventh best odds to win the Most Improved Player award with Evan Mobley, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey, and Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro at +2000.

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges is the betting favourite at +700. Cade Cunningham has the second best odds at +1200. Now that VanVleet is on the Rockets, the Raptors need a new second option on offense.

Barnes will be given every opportunity to fill that role this year because he is the future of the franchise and the Raptors don’t have many other options. Barnes will be among the favourites if his three-point shooting improves this year, but he can still win the award without shooting threes because the Raptors will probably run a lot of their offense through him. 

Does Pascal Siakam have a shot at MVP?

Pascal Siakam is tied with Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden for the 22nd best odds to win the Most Valuable Player award at +6000. Siakam is without question the Raptors best player and one of the best players in the league. Over his first 20-25 games last season, a legitimate argument could be made for Siakam to be an MVP candidate. As the season went on and the team struggled, he fell completely out of contention. But does he have a shot to win the award this year?

The answer is no. Nothing is impossible, but this might be as close as it gets. A player needs to be on a winning team and have great numbers to even be considered for the MVP award. The Raptors most likely will not win enough games for Siakam to get consideration.

Also, he would need to average around 30 points per game or a triple double to take the award from guys like Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Siakam averaged 24.2 points and 7.8 rebounds last year, that will not be enough to win MVP unless the Raptors finish one or two in the east.