The NBA was loaded with talented passers last season and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James surprisingly paced the league with 10.2 assists per game in 2019-20. Quite a few players could challenge James for the assist title when the 2020-21 season kicks off later this month and we’ve identified some of the top contenders on DraftKings Sportsbook.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (+275)
James is the odds-on favorite but could take a step back now that the Lakers have upgraded their backcourt. Dennis Schroder is capable of running the offense when James needs a breather.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (+300)
Young ranked second in the NBA with 9.3 assists per game and the Atlanta Hawks made significant upgrades on the offensive side of the ball this offseason. Additions like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari could make assists even easier to come by for Young, who ranked fourth in the NBA with 29.6 points per game in 2019-20.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (+400)
Doncic has the third-best odds and ranked third with 8.8 assists per game last season. He took major leaps in points, rebounds, and assists per game last season and could get a boost from Kritaps Porzingis missing time at the start of this season. Doncic will likely have to carry the heaviest workload and has the best chance at claiming the title among the favorites, in my opinion.
Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans (+3300)
Ball barely cracks the top 10 when it comes to the odds but stands out as a dark horse. He averaged 7 assists per game while playing alongside Jrue Holiday but will likely assume a larger role now that his backcourt partner has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Ball and Holiday were the only Pelicans who averaged more than 5 assists per game last season, so I expect Ball to take a big step forward with the keys to the offense.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/MI/PA/WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA) or Call or Text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IA/IN/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.