In the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year race, there were a lot of first-year players who proved they belonged at the professional level. After getting hurt in the Summer League, Chet Holmgren didn’t make a mark as a skilled big man, but other players, like No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero, gave basketball fans something new to talk about.
For the 2023–24 season, we have a whole new list of candidates. Victor Wembanyama is one of the best candidates. That’s not a secret, but who else is getting ahead of the others this year?
Last season, Banchero won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. But who is our favorite to win the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy in 2024?
As of 2024, these players have the best chances of winning NBA Rookie of the Year:
10. Keyonte George (Utah Jazz)
STATS: 8 PPG, 3 APG, 2.8 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 41% FG, 31% 3PT
George may have a difficult time breaking into the starting lineup because at Utah Jazz he is stuck behind players such as Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton, yet he has been fine getting on the court so far this season. However, turnovers and missed shots have held him back up to this point, even though he has a steal in each of his most recent three games.
9. Cason Wallace (Oklahoma City Thunder)
STATS: 7.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 81% FG, 83% 3PT
As a result of Wallace’s remarkable shooting efficiency thus far, the Thunder have found room for him in their rotation even though they have a young team that is still filled with talent. His accuracy won’t remain this pinpoint throughout the entire season. Still, as long as Oklahoma City Thunder keeps up its current pace, it will have difficulty removing the 10th overall choice from the floor.
8. Bilal Coulibaly (Washington Wizards)
STATS: 4.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1 SPG, 1.5 BPG, 31% FG, 25% 3PT
Even though the 19-year-old Coulibaly is a very undeveloped talent, it is anticipated that he will be given a significant amount of playing time with the Washington Wizards. If he can wow with his 6-foot-6 stature defensively while rebounding his position well and hitting open jumpers, there is a way for him to compete for the NBA Rookie of the Year title; moreover, he will be far from a frontrunner for the award.
7. Amen Thompson (Houston Rockets)
STATS: 6.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40% FG, 18% 3PT
Amen Thompson, one of the two Thompson twins now playing in the NBA, is a dynamic player who frequently appears on the top ten highlight reels on SportsCenter throughout this season. Because he does not have an outside shot, his offensive potential may be initially constrained. However, he should have no issue scoring around the basket, positioning him as a leading candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year. But the 21-year-old has shown signs of early growing pains for the Houston Rockets in the season.
6. Scoot Henderson (Portland Trail Blazers)
STATS: 8.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 2.2 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 34% FG, 9% 3PT
Henderson, who was selected third overall by Portland Trail Blazers, most likely would have been in the running for a top choice in many other draft classes but, for some reason, fell to the third spot. But the former G-League MVP isn’t off to a solid start, as he has only made two of his first twenty-one attempts from beyond the arc. Being only 19, he has much time to acclimate to the NBA before making significant decisions.
5. Dereck Lively II (Dallas Mavericks)
STATS: 8.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1 BPG, 0.8 SPG, 78% FG
Although this is only a preliminary sample, it is becoming clear why the Dallas Mavericks were so keen to include the 12th overall choice in their starting lineup right away. Lively is playing within his skill set and keeping within his lane, which has contributed to an early field goal percentage that is the best in the NBA at 78.9 percent. In addition to that, he generates turnovers while nearly averaging a double-double in points and rebounds. To this point, Lively has established himself as an early candidate for Rookie of the Year, although it is pretty likely that he will exceed the likes of Wembanyama and Holmgren.
4. Ausar Thompson (Detroit Pistons)
STATS: 10 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2 BPG, 39% FG, 10% 3PT
Due to the fact that he was drafted one spot after his brother, Ausar falls in a favorable position with the Detroit Pistons, who currently have an urgent requirement for a starting small forward. The fact that Thompson won’t be expected to carry the scoring burden should make it easier for him to develop into a three-level scorer over time. He has already received multiple alley-oops, which is evidence of his athleticism. In addition, he has been a solid defensive presence and is hauling down rebounds at an incredible rate.
3. Brandon Miller (Charlotte Hornets)
STATS: 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2 APG, 46% FG, 42% 3PT
The Charlotte Hornets improved their roster by selecting Miller over Scoot Henderson, allowing themselves to become soon the league’s leading scorer with this high-potential player. On the other hand, Miller ought to have swiftly made his presence felt on defense, getting in the way of passing lanes and blocking a few attempts. We anticipate that Miller will be one of the best rookie scorers in basketball, and so far, he is in second place, just behind Wemby in the rankings.
2. Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City Thunder)
STATS: 15.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 59% FG, 52% 3PT
You thought we had forgotten the second overall choice in the NBA Draft 2023. Oklahoma City Thunder Chet Holmgren will have a second opportunity to win the Debut of the Year award even though he was sidelined for the entirety of his debut season due to a Lisfranc injury. The presence of Holmgren adds even more mystery to what has the potential to be a very impressive rookie class. How soon will the former Gonzaga star, who is now 21 years old, be able to demonstrate that his well-rounded skill set can be successfully applied in the professional ranks? We are about to find out, but Holmgren has been a sniper from deep while ranking among the league leaders in blocks. We are going to find out if this holds.
1. Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs)
STATS: 16.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.5 SPG, 46% FG, 26% 3PT
As he continues to get acclimated to his new team, the San Antonio Spurs have a clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year in the form of the potential who, according to some analysts, possesses the most enormous ceiling among prospects since LeBron James. Wembanyama is a guard who is 7 feet 4 inches tall, with a wingspan of eight feet and is capable of performing all of the duties associated with that position on the basketball court. However, because of his naturally astounding size, ‘The Extraterrestrial’ can also scare opponents in the paint by acting as a menacing rim defender. It is expected that he will continue to record well over one block per game on average, and in his first season playing for Gregg Popovich as head coach, he may come dangerously close to recording a double-double.
Who was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2023?
Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic won the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He led all first-year players with 20 points per game. Since 2018, he was the first No. 1 pick to win ROTY. Wembanyama Victor, can you make it a trend?
Has anyone won NBA Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year?
In the same NBA season, Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld were both named MVP and Rookie of the Year. Over the course of their lives, 16 players have won both. But nobody has done that in the same year since Unseld in 1969.