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NBA Rookie Watch
NBA Rookie Watch

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

March 21, 2023

We’ve got three weeks left in the regular season, which means the NBA playoffs are just around the corner. It’s an exciting time to be a fan, and an even more exciting time to place some bets on Mojo. 50 new players were added to the NBA market last week and it’s time to analyze some of those players and take positions that will be profitable!

In this article, we’ll focus on three rookies. Each of these three has produced well of late, but will that continue? And do they have staying power beyond this season? 

For those that are new here, Mojo is the Sports Stock Market that lets you bet on your favorite athletes. It started with the NFL, and as of a month ago, the NBA has been added to the platform! You can either bet on a player’s career, or you can bet on their Single-Game Props, an all-new feature for big volatility on a nightly basis. There are so many ways to win betting on all of your favorite players. 

In the last few weeks, we’ve uncovered some undervalued players and some overvalued players. We also most recently compared the values of two other rookies in Bennedict Mathurin and Jalen Williams. Here, we’ll highlight three more rookies and discuss whether you should Go Long on them or take a Short position.

After reading the article, let me know if you agree. You can hit me up anytime on Twitter @AdamKoffler to talk about it. 

Paolo Banchero, $213.34 (2x Multiplier)

First up is Paolo Banchero. You might be thinking, “Adam, of course he has staying power beyond this season.” And yes, you’d be right, of course he does. He’s the runaway Rookie of the Year this season and he’s already being compared to Giannis Antetokounmpo by some players. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should Go Long on him on Mojo.

Let’s dive in and analyze his share price. 

Banchero has a Future Value of $204.50. That’s really high. In fact, only Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Jayson Tatum have higher Future Values than Banchero. Giannis’ Future Value checks in at $196.96, just $7.54 less than Banchero’s despite being in his 10th NBA season. However, Banchero is putting up numbers in his rookie season similar to what Giannis was doing in his fourth-NBA season at 22 years of age.

Banchero might never be near as productive as Giannis, but he’s got an extremely bright future, and could very well get to a similar level in a matter of a few years. If and when he does that, his current stock price of $213.34 will seem like an absolute steal. Take advantage now, especially as Banchero solidifies his Rookie of the Year honor down the stretch. 

Andrew Nembhard, $36.45

Nembhard, a second-round pick out of Gonzaga, has been playing very well of late in a more prominent role for the Pacers. Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin have both been in and out of the lineup, which has given Nembhard an increased opportunity to showcase his diverse skill set.

With that, he’s averaged 16.8 points and 4.0 assists over his last six games and his stock has risen 3.4% in the last week.

Haliburton has been nursing an injured ankle, and has missed his last three games. That’s the minimum number of games he was set to miss, so he could very well be out longer with the Pacers out of the playoff race. There’s no incentive to rush him back on the floor if he’s not 100%, which might not come this season at all. 

That makes Nembhard a fantastic buy right now as he’s shown what he can do without Haliburton. With him in the mix, Nembhard averages just 7.3 points and 3.4 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. Without him, he averages 13.3 points and 6.0 assists in 29.6 minutes per game. 

While Nembhard has the makings of a solid NBA player, there may not be room for him in the starting lineup with both Haliburton and Mathurin at the two guard spots next season. Because of that, he makes for a good Long right now through the end of the 2022-2023 season, but you may consider closing those positions and then Short his stock prior to next season if he can’t crack the starting lineup.

David Roddy, $30.78

Roddy has found an expanded role in Memphis as they’ve dealt with a trying month and thin rotation. With that, the 2022 first round pick has seen his stock tick up 13% over the last month. Yet, is this more due to Roddy improving his long term outlook or just the opportunity that’s presented itself?

Despite just two games scoring over 15 points this season, Roddy’s Future Value is just a few dollars below Nembhard’s ($27.88 vs. $31.40) despite a very inconsistent body of work. Prior to Ja Morant’s leave of absence, Roddy was barely able to Crack the Grizzlies’ nine-man rotation. 

In 42 games played with Morant, Roddy has averaged just 5.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game and Morant is expected back on Wednesday. That makes now the perfect time to Short Roddy’s inflated stock. His share price has risen 20% since Morant has been out thanks in large part to two solid performances against a Mavericks team that was missing both Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Another knock against Roddy is his size. He’s an undersized Power Forward, standing at just 6’4” tall. His 255 lb frame helps on the defensive end and glass, but typically 6’4” players are playing one of the guard spots. Roddy doesn’t have the on-ball skills to play point or shooting guard, so he’s stuck on the wing.

The Grizzlies’ front-court is short-handed right now with Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke out, yet Roddy still can’t find more than 20 minutes a night with Morant on the floor. Imagine head coach Taylor Jenkins trying to find minutes for this guy when everyone is healthy next season. It’ll be tough to say the least. Now is the perfect opportunity to Short Roddy’s stock before Morant returns.

Prices are current as of 3/21/23 at 3:00 PM
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