Mar 29, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats guard Nick Johnson (13) shoots the ball against Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half in the finals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Johnson is listed by a Vegas oddsmaker as 33/1 to win the Rookie of the Year award. It is a long-shot, but it is one of the better chances given to a second-round pick.
Johnson has a better shot than lottery pick Noah Vonleh (40/1), San Antonio Spurs’ first rounder Kyle Anderson of UCLA (40/1) and James Young who went 17th overall (40/1), Mitch McGary (50/1), 21st overall) and 26th overall pick P.J. Hairston (40/1)
While Johnson will not likely win the award, it is refreshing to see a second rounder get some love from Vegas oddsmakers. He had an impressive summer league showing and is one of the best athletes in this year’s rookie class. His potential to possibly play both guard positions could eventually render him as Houston’s No. 3 guard, even this season.
Johnson will need minutes to have any chance at this award, but if he is able to relieve Patrick Beverley while helping the Rockets make a push towards a high playoff seeding, Johnson could be rewarded for his role in that. Again, it is a long-shot, but to receive better odds than a lottery pick and four other first rounders, shows that the Rockets could have snagged a major steal with the 42nd pick in the 2014 draft.