NBA player odds of ineligibility for awards ahead of the 2023-24 season are featured here from the BetOnline sportsbook. At the moment, Zion Williamson (-3300) is the betting favorite, followed by Kawhi Leonard (-2500) and Anthony Davis (-2000). Check out the full 15-player list below.
The 2023-24 NBA regular season runs from Oct. 24, 2023, through Apr. 14, 2024. The NBA will hold its inaugural in-season tournament from Nov. 3 to Dec. 9. All games except the final count toward the regular season standings.
The 2024 NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2024, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The play-in tournament is scheduled for April 16-19, and the playoffs are set to begin on April 20. The NBA Finals is scheduled to start on June 6.
NBA Player Odds of Ineligibility for Awards in the 2023-24 Season: New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson is the Betting Favorite
In order to win MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, or receive an All-NBA honor, NBA players are now required to appear in at least 65 games, per the latest collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
In NBA history, only six times has a player won the MVP award without playing in at least 70 games, two of which were before the league adopted the 82-game schedule in 1968.
Of course, Bill Russell won MVP during the 1957-58 season after playing in 69 games for the Boston Celtics, and Bob Cousy won the award in the 1956-57 season after playing in just 64 games for the Celtics.
Bill Walton holds the record for the fewest games played in a MVP season, appearing in only 58 games for the Portland Trail Blazers during the 1977-78 season.
Zion Williamson (-3300)
First off, Zion Williamson has dealt with a number of injuries since the New Orleans Pelicans selected him No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. Knee, foot, and hamstring injuries have limited him to 114 games in his first four seasons. He’s missed 194 regular season games and all nine of the Pelicans’ postseason contests.
Williamson, 23, has yet to play at least 65 games in a single NBA season, never mind a full 82-game season. A Jones fracture in his right foot sidelined him for the entire 2021-22 season. Last season, the two-time All-Star appeared in only 29 games. A right hamstring injury in January caused him to miss the remainder of 2022-23.
Kawhi Leonard (-2500)
Next, Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard has been working on returning to his high level of play. However, he’s still dealing with a lingering knee injury. As a result, Clippers coach Tyron Lue rested the five-time All-NBA member for a number of games last season, limiting his minutes and appearances via pre-planned load management.
Leonard, 32, hasn’t made at least 65 appearances in a single season since 2016-17 with the San Antonio Spurs. The two-time NBA champ suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee during the second round of the 2021 playoffs. He hasn’t been the same explosive player ever since.
The two-time Finals MVP went on to miss the entire 2021-22 season. Last season, the wing made 50 starts in 52 games played. A right knee sprain also caused him to miss the remainder of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
Anthony Davis (-2000)
Furthermore, Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis hasn’t played 65 or more games in a season since 2017-18. In August, Davis and the Lakers agreed to a three-year, $186 million max extension, the richest annual extension in NBA history at $62 million. Davis, 30, is locked in until 2028 for a total worth more than $270 million.
But this will be all for nothing if the eight-time All-Star continues to sustain injuries. Davis made 56 appearances in the 2018-19 season, 62 in the 2019-20 season, 36 in the 2020-21 season, 40 in the 2021-22 season, and 56 last season. In December and January in 2022-23, the center missed 20 games due to a right foot injury.
Based on NBA player odds listed above, Williamson is most likely to miss out on awards next season.