As the waters settle following the completion of the 2023 NBA Draft, it’s time to turn our attention to the Rookie of the Year markets ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.
This year’s draft class featured the most-hyped prospect since LeBron James – French prodigy, Victor Wembanyama.
The San Antonio Spurs got their man with the first pick in the draft and the bookies have the 7’5 big man favoured to take out the ROTY honours.
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NBA Rookie Of The Year Odds & Predictions
#1 – Victor Wembanyama (San Antonio Spurs) @$1.42
The French Big Man has been putting the world on notice over the past couple of years with a freakish skill set we’ve never seen before. At 7’5 Wembanyama is difficult to compare to current or former players.
His tall lanky build, silky ball handling ability, impressive footwork and long range shooting capabilities off the dribble has left defenders scratching their heads.
The 19-year-old recorded a historic season in France’s LNB Pro A League with a season average of 21.6 points, 10.4 Rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3 blocks per game and secured the MVP award.
Concerns: I have two concerns when it comes to Wembanyama.
The obvious is his thin build.
NBA scouts fear Victor Wembanyama will get dominated in the low post on defense. Players like Kevin Durant have proven that a slim build can still be effective on both sides of the ball but a match-up against Embiid or Giannis could pose a challenge for the rookie.
My other concern is the tanking culture that has crept into the league over the years. The San Antonio Spurs are rebuilding and I wouldn’t be surprised if they opted to sit the rookie for a season to let him bulk up, work on his game and gift the spurs another lottery draft pick at the end of the season similar to what OKC did with Chet Holmgrem last season.
All in all, if Victor Wembanyama can play close to 80 per cent of the season I believe he will take out the award – especially with Greg Popovich in his corner.
#2 – Scoot Henderson (Portland Trailblazers) @ $4.40
The G-league Ignite standout has long been regarded as NBA ready and was being touted as the second best prospect in the draft.
The explosive 6’2 point guard is headed to Portland and I’m interested to see what role he plays in the lineup. Will he be sixth man or will he share the backcourt with Damian Lillard?
Or is it a sign of things to come following off-season trade rumours around Damian Lillard?
Regardless of what Portland’s plans are, Henderson’s court vision and ability to get to the basket in isolation will have an immediate impact on this roster.
Concerns: If Henderson is forced to bide his time as sixth man he may not get the chance to standout come voting time but I’m expecting to see him play big minutes with the first and second unit regardless.
The Blazers have performed well under par over the past couple of seasons and if Scoot can help propel this team back into playoff contention with or without Dame – expect to see his name in the conversation.
#3 – Chet Holmgrem (Oklahoma City Thunder) @ $5.80
Chet Holmgrem missed all of last season with a lisfranc foot injury after he was drafted with the No.2 overall pick in last years NBA draft out of Gonzaga.
I believe the 7’1 center is a real chance at challenging Wembanyama for the award this season. The 21-year-old was a standout in last seasons NBA summer league breaking the tournament’s single game blocks record and struck up instant chemistry with Josh Giddey on the hardwood.
When he was drafted scouts had similar concerns about his lanky thin build. Recent pictures have surfaced of Holmgrem and he looks to have put on some weight.
I think he has some serious value for ROTY especially in a young stacked OKC squad who put the league on notice by making it to the play in tournament last season.
Concerns: I have two concerns with Holmgrem.
The first is how he bounces back from injury and secondly, has he put on enough weight to mix it with other big men in the game as noted in my concerns about Wembanyama?
Overall, I think Chet Holmgrem is going to shine this season in an OKC uniform that will continue to develop and contend for a playoff seed.
The sky is the limit for Chet and this side.
#4 – Brandon Miller (Charlotte Hornets) @ $10.50
Brandon Miller was selected second overall by the Charlotte Hornets and was welcomed with boo’s from disappointed fans.
With a chip on his shoulder, I think he will make an immediate impact beyond the arc this season. The Alabama product is tough to defend using his length to shoot over defenders and his ball handling to take big men off the dribble.
He has the ability to create separation off the dribble and playing alongside a creative distributor like Lamelo Ball, he is sure to get plenty of open looks.
He is a great defender and has the ability to cover multiple positions with his size and length.
Concerns: The Charlotte Hornets have struggled to find their identity over the years and with Michael Jordan selling his majority stake as owner there could be a bit of disruption for this side.
There are many lockdown perimeter defenders in the league so Miller will need to work on his finish around the rim if he wants his shot to flourish in the NBA.
Overall, I think Miller will be out to prove his doubters wrong this year and will be looking to prove his booing home fans wrong.
#5 – Amen Thompson (Houston Rockets) @ $15.00
Amen Thompson has long featured in high-school basketball mixtapes alongside his twin brother and No.6 overall pick Ausar Thompson.
The feel good story of the draft was watching these two get drafted consecutively to the Rockets and Pistons. But Amen, has the wood over his brother in the odds this season.
The Houston Rockets are also rebuilding and view Amen as the man to steer this roster that features exciting young prospects such as Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Alperen Sengun and Kevin Porter Jr. The 20-year-old has impressive athleticism, good playmaking ability and at 6’6 great size for a point guard.
Concerns: Thompson does not have a great jumper shooting 25 per cent from three in the Overtime Elite League.
Another concern will be whether the rumours are true surrounding a Houston Rockets x James Harden reunion.
If so Harden’s acquisition would dramatically cut into Thompsons playing time.
Overall, I think Amen Thompson is a good prospect and it will be exciting watching him and his brother compete this season.
Our Pick for the 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year
Overall the no brainer pick here is Victor Wembanyama, the generational talent to take home the 2023/2024 NBA Rookie of the Year honours.
But @ $1.42 in a team that is rebuilding, I’m not convinced he’ll play the full season and expect the Spurs will be looking for a lottery pick next year and do some *cough* tanking *cough*.
I like Chet Holmgrem @ $5.80 and think a year under his belt working with NBA coaches and getting his body prepared for contact at the top level will do him the world of good.
Keep an eye on the Summer League next month as I’m sure odds will fluctuate during the tournament.
Pick: Chet Holmgrem @ $5.80
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