We’ve got about a month and a half before the NBA season tips off. Find out if the Knicks have anyone that can win an award this year.
The Knicks just missed on another big star. Donovan Mitchell was dealt from Utah to Cleveland in a blockbuster trade. The Knicks were apparently in on the star shooting guard, but trade talks stalled over the amount of draft capital the Knicks would send over.
If you’re a Knicks fan, this one may sting, especially after hearing that Mitchell reportedly wanted to play for the Knicks. Or maybe you’re happy that the team still has all of its future first-round draft picks. Even without Mitchell, the Knicks still have guys that can contend for award races.
We’re going to review a well-known NY Sportsbook to find out which player award props make the most sense, and which ones absolutely don’t.
Most Improved Player Award (MIP)
There are a couple of Knicks players listed highly in this race. The team’s top free agent signing, Jalen Brunson, is listed third in the odds table. Brunson, 26, spent his first four seasons in Dallas and was a big part of the team’s Western Conference Finals run last year.
Brunson was a solid player last year, averaging 16 points a game on 50% percent shooting. He was playing behind superstar player Luka Doncic at the time. The Knicks won’t have a player of Doncic’s caliber, allowing Brunson more opportunities to be the main guy.
RJ Barrett is another guy in this award race. Barrett is right behind Brunson, with +2300 odds. The 22-year-old Duke product was one of the Knicks’ highest volume shooters last year. Barrett averaged 20 points a game on 41% shooting last season.
Note* The odds in this tweet aren’t updated.
We’ll see if Barrett’s percentages can improve in his fourth season in the league. The addition of Brunson should take some of the attention off Barrett, allowing him to get better looks.
6th Man of the Year Award (SMOY)
Immanuel Quickley is the Knicks contender in this race. Quickley put up similar numbers in each of his first two seasons in the league. He’s set to be the first guy off the bench for Tom Thibodeau’s squad, a role he has become accustomed to in New York.
Quickley’s odds to take home the 6th man award are at +3300 on FanDuel. He’s not going to be a name that comes up a lot for this award before the season begins. If Quickley can put up 15 a game, and the Knicks can win 45 of them, his name will start to gain traction.
Jordan Poole of the Warriors and Tyler Herro of the Heat are the two favorites to win this award. Poole has +500 odds, while the reigning SMOY, Tyler Herro, has +750 odds.
The Knicks don’t have anyone inside the top 40 of the MVP odds table. RJ Barrett has the team’s best odds at +37000. Julius Randle, a name we’ve yet to mention, has +49000 odds to take home the Most Valuable Player Award.
Mitchell Robinson has +10000 odds to win the Defensive Player of the Year award (DPOY). Robinson will be the team’s starting center once again this year. Robinson averaged 1.8 blocks per game last year, which was good enough for fifth in the league among qualified players.
The Knicks did not have their first-round pick for the 2022 draft. Instead, they decided to trade it to the Thunder for multiple protected 2023 first-round picks. The pick would’ve been the eleventh in the draft if they had decided to keep it. There will be no point in Knicks fans keeping their eyes on this award race. However, next year could be a different story.
Where to Place Your Money?
Jalen Brunson for Most Improved Player at +1900 is great value. These award races are highly impacted by team success and player totals. Playing under Doncic didn’t allow Brunson to maximize his point totals. Despite him not being the main guy, Brunson was still incredibly efficient and will have a chance to expand on his game in New York.
Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves is the favorite to win the MIP award. Edwards has a lot of hype in the media and is playing for an up-and-coming team in Minnesota. If the Knicks can find a way to hang with the T-Wolves in the win column, this award race could end up being neck and neck between Edwards and Brunson.
Mitchell Robinson for DPOY is also a good value pick. He’ll have to eclipse a number of former winners of this award if he wants to bring home the hardware. He may not even be top 10 on most people’s list to win this award, but if you have a chance to capitalize on +10000 odds, you take them.
Stay away from any of the Knicks in the MVP award race. Unless you have useless money to spend, it’s better you don’t even consider it.
The easiest way to have players win these award races is by creating a winner. That’s something the Knicks have had a hard time with over the past two decades.
After the Knicks recently decided to extend the contract of RJ Barrett, this season could be the first of many with the trio of Barrett, Brunson, and Randle. Could they end up being the core that changes the fortunes of this franchise? Maybe this year will give us a clue into the question every Knicks fan wants answered.