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 thanks to the NBA draft. 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?
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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|
|Dereck Lively II||+5000|
Below is our list of NBA Rookie of the Year candidates for the 2023-24 season, in reverse order.
10. Bilal Coulibaly, Washington Wizards
Bilal Coulibaly stats (EuroLeague)
- 5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 53% FG, 45% 3PT
While the 18-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-8 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 this season.
9. Jarace Walker, Indiana Pacers
Jarace Walker stats (college)
- 11.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 46% FG, 34% 3PT
It’s not hard to see Walker quickly earning a big role playing power forward with the Pacers, where he’ll fit nicely in their young core. Joining Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, and Myles Turner, Walker can play a complementary role, grabbing rebounds, blocking shots, scoring from the paint, and hopefully developing into a consistent threat from distance too.
8. Taylor Hendricks, Utah Jazz
Taylor Hendricks stats (college)
- 15.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 47% FG, 39% 3PT
Likely slotting in next to Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, Hendricks can make a quick impact under coach Will Hardy. Not only is he an excellent scorer, both inside and on the perimeter, but Hendricks also rebounds and defends his position well. We see him becoming a key playmaker in Utah while vying to become a top 2024 NBA Rookie of the Year candidate.
7. Anthony Black, Orlando Magic
Anthony Black stats (college)
- 12.8 PPG, 3.9 APG, 5.1 RPG, 2.1 SPG, 45% FG, 30% 3PT
We’re not exactly sure how the Magic will work Black into their lineup just yet, but after making the 6-foot-5 guard the No. 7 pick, he’ll see plenty of floor time. Perhaps Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, or even Jalen Suggs are moved to open up more minutes for the new draftee. Either way, Black’s willingness to pass while also being able to excel in transition makes him a good fit in Orlando, and early looks in summer league suggest he has a bright future.
6. Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons
Ausar Thompson stats (with Overtime Elite)
- 16.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 2.4 SPG, 48% FG, 29% 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. As a rookie, he’ll be on the receiving end of several alley-oops from Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. We’re just not sure he’ll be the cream of the crop in his first season.
Top 2024 NBA Rookie of the Year candidates
5. Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets
Amen Thompson stats (with Overtime Elite)
- 16.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.3 SPG, 56% FG, 25% 3PT
One of two Thompson twins entering 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.
4. Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets
Brandon Miller stats (college)
- 18.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 43% FG, 38% 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.
3. Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers
Scoot Henderson stats (G League)
- 16.5 PPG, 6.8 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 42% FG, 27% 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. Wembanyama was a really big wrench in his plans, but the newest Blazers guard will immediately become the face of the franchise with Damian Lillard sent to Milwaukee.
2. Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren stats (college)
- 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 3.7 BPG, 60% FG, 39% 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.
1. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
Victor Wembanyama stats (EuroLeague)
- 6.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG, 0.8 SPG, 34% FG, 30% 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-5, has an eight-foot wingspan, and can do everything a guard can do on the basketball court. Yet, his naturally breathtaking size also allows him to terrorize opponents in the paint as a menacing rim protector. He’ll average north of a block per game and could flirt with a double-double in his first year under coach Gregg Popovich.
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.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.