The NBA Rookie of the Year award is given out to the best rookie player from that season. Instituted after the 1952-53 season, it was initially known as the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, but since the 2022-23 season, it’s the Wilt Chamberlain Trophy.
While the NBA does have a rule now about players needing to play 65 games to be eligible for an award, that doen’t apply to the All-Rookie Team of the Rookie of the Year award.
Last season, Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic won the award, and below, we’ll discuss our top picks for who will win it this year.
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NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
These NBA Rookie of the Year Odds are courtesy of Bovada. Learn more about Bovada via a review at The Sports Geek. There are numerous other reviews available there, too.
NBA Rookie of the Year Best Bets
Over the last five years, we’ve seen two forwards and two guards win the award, with Luka Doncic, who plays both guard and forward (but mainly at guard), winning it back for the 2018-2019 season.
Below, we’ll provide our three best betting options for the award. Will the trend of forwards—who’ve won the last two awards—continue? Let’s see.
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (-150)
As mentioned, the Rookie of the Year award is exempt from the 65-game minimum, which bodes well for Wembanyama. In 2017, Joel Embiid won the award, playing just 31 games. In his debut, Wembanyama scored 15 points, making three of five three-point shots, and was, overall, six of nine from the field. He added five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block. Not even 20 years old, Wembanyama is exceedingly advanced for his age, coming from France, and at seven-foot-four, there are few players like him in the league. It’s been quite some time since a true big man won the award, and Wembanyama, who is -150 one game into his NBA career, should be able to buck that trend.
Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (+300)
At 21, Holmgren played one season of college basketball at Gonzaga before coming to the NBA as the No. 2 overall pick to the Thunder last year. That’s right—Holmgren is up for the award here, as he missed his entire rookie season last year with a Lisfranc injury. He’s another big man at seven feet tall. In his debut, he scored 11 points, shot two for three from three-point range, and added four rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Coming out of Gonzaga, the question mark surrounding Holmgren was whether or not his style of play would translate to the NBA. In college, he shot 60% from the field and 39% from three-point range and averaged 0.1 rebounds shy of a double-double. He’s going up against a difficult class here from the 2023 NBA Draft, but having a season to get his foot right, Holmgren will be back stronger than ever.
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (+450)
He fell to the No. 3 overall pick to the Portland Trail Blazers, and he’ll be asked to do a lot in a hurry with the departure of Damian Lillard. In his first NBA action this season, Henderson played 36 minutes.
He missed all three-point tries and was five of 11 from the floor. He added three rebounds and four assists and had 11 points. It wasn’t an electric performance off the bat for the former G League star, but he has plenty of season to go to turn those minutes into points and other statistics.
He averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game last year with the G League Ignite, and without Lillard there, Henderson is looked at as the savior for an organization that has struggled mightily.
Expect him to continue to get massive workloads this season.
Past NBA Rookie of the Year Winners
As mentioned, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award has been around since after the 1952-53 season and below, we’ll list all previous winners dating back to 2001.
Who Is the Favorite to Win the 2024 NBA Rookie of the Year Award?
At Bovada, the favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award is San Antonio Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama at -150.
Which NBA Team Has the Most Rookie of the Year Winners?
The Golden State Warriors, who used to be known as the San Francisco Warriors and Philadelphia Warriors, have the most NBA Rookie of the Year awards with six. These were awarded to Woody Sauldsberry, Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Webber.
Who Determines the NBA ROY Winner?
The NBA Rookie of the Year winner is determined by sportswriters from both Canada and the United States. They each cast first, second, and third-place votes. These votes are assigned point values. The first pick gets five points, the second gets three, and the third gets one. The points are then counted, and the player with the most points wins the award.
Who’s The Most Recent NBA ROY Winner To Play In the All-Star Game?
The most recent Rookie of the Year recipient to make the All-Star game was then-Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin during the 2010-11 season.
He was initially drafted in 2009, but didn’t play due to a knee injury. In his first full season, Griffin averaged 22.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. He only ever averaged more than 22.5 points per game in two more seasons as he was traded to Detroit and then Boston. Griffin is currently a free agent without a team.