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Dennis Smith Jr. among early favorites to win NBA Rookie of the Year

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NBA: Summer League-Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Smith is coming off an excellent stint with the Dallas Mavericks’ Vegas Summer League team, and he was good enough to improve his NBA Rookie of the Year chances in the eyes of oddsmakers. A month ago, the odds from Bovada on DSJ winning ROY were 16/1; now they are 3/1.

That improvement puts Smith behind only Lonzo Ball, who is at 5/2. Smith and Ball played against each other this past weekend, but to no specific conclusion; both of them were very good, and it was kind of incredible to see the contrasts in their games when they were on the floor together. They are both brilliant players, but they couldn’t be more different, either.

That adds an extra level of intrigue to this NBA season, since they are going to see each other again several times. Dennis in Dallas, Lonzo in LA. That’s not a headlining matchup in the Western Conference, at least not yet, but it’s worth watching.