NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren get off to hot starts

Looking back, the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year race had several first-year hoopers showing they belong at the pro level. While we didn’t see Chet Holmgren make an impact after the skilled big suffered a Lisfranc injury in Summer League, plenty of others, such as No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero, gave basketball fans a new star to talk about.

Now as we turn the page to the 2023-24 season, we have a brand new list of candidates. Victor Wembanyama is a top candidate. That’s no spoiler, but who else is sneaking up on the competition this year?

Banchero may have taken the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award last season, but who’s our in-house leader to win the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy in 2024?

Related: NBA schedule

2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Before we get into the list of candidates, let’s look at who sportsbooks view as the best odds to win NBA Rookie of the Year.

Here are the players with the best odds to win NBA ROTY in 2024:

Player NBA ROY odds
Victor Wembanyama -145
Chet Holmgren +210
Scoot Henderson +1500
Ausar Thompson +1800
Dereck Lively II +2000
Brandon Miller +2200
Cam Whitmore +4000
Jarace Walker +4000
Julian Strawther +4000
Vasilije Micic +4000
Sasha Vezenkov +4000
Taylor Hendricks +4000
Anthony Black +4000
Keyonte George +4000
Gradey Dick +4000
Cason Wallace +4000
Amen Thompson +5000
Bilal Coulibaly +5000
2024 NBA Rookie of the Year odds provided by DraftKings

Below is our list of NBA Rookie of the Year candidates for the 2023-24 season, in reverse order.

10. Keyonte George, Utah Jazz (Last week: Not ranked)

NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren get off to hot starts
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Keyonte George stats

  • 8 PPG, 3 APG, 2.8 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 41% FG, 31% 3PT

Stuck behind the likes of Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton, George may have a tough time cracking the starting lineup, but he’s had no issue seeing the floor early on. He’s gotten a steal in each of his past three contests, but turnovers and missed shots are what’s holding him back so far.

Related: NBA trade rumors: Latest buzz on NBA’s biggest stars

9. Cason Wallace, Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: NR)

cason wallace
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Cason Wallace stats

  • 7.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 81% FG, 83% 3PT

On a young roster that’s still loaded with talent, Wallace has found a home in the Thunder’s rotation, thanks to shooting with incredible efficiency so far. His accuracy won’t stay this perfect all-season long, but Oklahoma City will have a hard time pulling the 10th overall pick off the floor as long as it keeps up.

8. Bilal Coulibaly, Washington Wizards (LW: 10)

NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Ausar Thompson, Dereck Lively, and Marcus Sasser introduce themselves to NBA
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bilal Coulibaly stats

  • 4.3 PPG, 1.8 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1 SPG, 1.5 BPG, 31% FG, 25% 3PT

While the 19-year-old is an extremely raw prospect, Coulibaly figures to have plenty of opportunity to see floor time on the Wizards. If he can impress with his 6-foot-6 frame defensively while rebounding his position well and hitting open shots, there’s a path to competing for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, but he won’t be anywhere near a frontrunner.

7. Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets (LW: 5)

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Amen Thompson stats

  • 6.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40% FG, 18% 3PT

One of two Thompson twins now in the NBA, Amen is an explosive playmaker who will frequently find himself on the SportsCenter top ten highlight reels this season. His lack of an outside shot may limit his offensive ceiling to begin with, but he’ll have no trouble scoring at the rim, which should make him a top NBA ROY candidate. But we’re seeing early growing pains in Houston for the 21-year-old so far.

6. Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (LW: 3)

NBA Rookie of the Year 2023-24: Chet Holmgren narrows the gap
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

Scoot Henderson stats

  • 8.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 2.2 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 34% FG, 9% 3PT

Somehow falling to the third pick, Henderson likely would have been in the running to be a top pick in many other draft classes. But the former G-League star isn’t off to a particularly hot start, making just 2-of-21 3-point attempts thus far. Still just 19, he has plenty of time to figure the NBA out.

Related: Portland Trail Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson puts NBA on notice with bold claims

5. Dereck Lively II, Dallas Mavericks (LW: NR)

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dereck Lively II stats

  • 8.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1 BPG, 0.8 SPG, 78% FG

It’s a small sample size thus far, but we’re seeing why the Mavericks were eager to plug the 12th overall pick in their starting lineup. Lively is staying in his lane, playing within his skillset, and it’s led to an NBA-best 78.9 percent field-goal percentage early on. He’s also averaging nearly a double-double while creating turnovers. So far, Lively is an early Rookie of the Year candidate, but surpassing the Wembanyama’s and Holmgren’s of the world likely won’t happen.

Related: NBA execs vote Luka Doncic as top young player to build around for fourth year in a row

4. Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons (LW: 6)

ausar thompson
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ausar Thompson stats

  • 10 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2 BPG, 39% FG, 10% 3PT

Being drafted one slot behind his brother, Ausar lands in a strong spot with the Pistons, who have an immediate need for a starting small forward. Thompson won’t be asked to shoulder the scoring load, which should allow him to grow into a three-level scorer in time. He’s already been on the receiving end of several alley-oops, showing his athleticism, but he’s also been a strong defensive presence who’s pulling down rebounds at an impressive rate.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Latest rankings for all 30 teams

3. Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets (LW: 4)

NBA: Kings Summer Classic-Golden State Warriors at Charlotte Hornets
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Miller stats

  • 15.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2 APG, 46% FG, 42% 3PT

By deciding to go with Miller over Scoot Henderson, the Hornets added a high-upside talent who could quickly become the team’s top scorer. But Miller should also quickly made his presence felt on defense, getting in passing lanes and blocking a few shots too. We expect Miller to be one of the top rookie scorers in basketball, and so far, he ranks second, just behind Wemby.

2. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (LW: 2)

NBA: Summer League-Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Chet Holmgren stats

  • 15.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 59% FG, 52% 3PT

You thought we forgot about the second overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft? While Chet Holmgren missed his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury, now he gets another chance at the award. Holmgren’s presence adds more intrigue to what could be a very strong rookie class. How quickly can the 21-year-old former Gonzaga star show that his all-around skillset translates to the pros? We’re about to find out, but so far Holmgren’s been a sniper from deep while ranking among the league leaders in blocks.

1. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (LW: 1)

NBA: San Antonio Spurs-Press Conference
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Wembanyama stats

  • 16.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.5 SPG, 46% FG, 26% 3PT

The prospect that some have said has the highest ceiling since LeBron James is easily our leading candidate to win Rookie of the Year as he settles in with the Spurs. Wembanyama stands 7-foot-4, has an eight-foot wingspan, and can do everything a guard can do on the basketball court. Yet, ‘The Extraterrestrial’s naturally breathtaking size also allows him to terrorize opponents in the paint as a menacing rim protector. He’ll continue averaging well north of a block per game and could flirt with a double-double in his first year under coach Gregg Popovich.

Related: 2024 NBA mock draft: See where Bronny James gets drafted

Who won the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year?

After averaging 20 PPG and leading all first-year players, Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic won the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He was the first No. 1 pick to win ROTY since 2018. Can Victor Wembanyama make it a trend?

Has anyone won MVP and Rookie of the Year NBA?

Both Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld have won MVP and Rookie of the Year in the NBA in the same season. A total of 16 players have won both throughout their careers. But doing so in the same year hasn’t been done since Unseld in 1969.

Related: Top-selling NBA jerseys: See the best-sellers for all 30 NBA teams

This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.

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