The 2023/24 regular season NBA starts today – and what better time to note which players Vegas bookmakers think will win the coveted NBA Rookie of the year Award this season?

Initially It’s a three horse race according to odds-makers:

Victor “Wemby” Wembanyama (-150)

French basketball-wizard Webanyama (AKA ‘Wemby’) has a ton of silverware to his credit already, having been elected MVP, and winning best young Player, best defender, top scorer, & best blocker in the French Basketball League.

His preseason performance was full of excitement – and the numbers show an 13.7 net rating and an outstanding 71.2 true shooting % in just two games.

Wembanyama’s versatility is on full display, excelling as both a defender and scorer on the perimeter, demonstrating his ability to switch positions and smoothly create scoring opportunities, despite his size. It’s likely that he’ll be heavily utilized during the regular season, as indicated by his preseason 34.5% usage rate, providing a glimpse into his potential workload.

Sterling “Scoot” Henderson (+250)

Scott Brooks (Portland Trail Blazers’ Associate head coach) says Scoot Henderson has what it takes to be “Russell Westbrook 2.0”.

Henderson bypassed college basketball altogether getting his grounding in the G League Ignite program before moving up to the NBA.

Henderson’s +250 odds may be worth considering, especially now that Damian Lillard has been traded to Milwaukee. As the lead guard for the Blazers, Scoot is expected to have ample opportunities, even though his three-point shooting is a concern. His strength lies in high ball screens, where he has a remarkable 64.6% success rate with two-pointers.

Portland boasts a deep roster of guards, including Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, and Malcolm Brogdon, which may limit Henderson’s chances of achieving ROY-worthy statistics. Nevertheless, he is a strong contender entering the season.

Chet Holmgren (+250)

Holmgren has fully recovered from his foot injury, which sidelined him for the entire 2022-23 season. He is poised to be a significant contender for the Rookie of the Year (ROY) in the 2023-24 season. As the No. 2 overall pick from the previous season, Holmgren appears to be the missing piece for the Thunder, who are on the cusp of making it to the playoffs. His impressive 7-1 stature is expected to divert some attention away from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Similar to Wembanyama, Holmgren’s two-way skills and captivating playing style make him a strong candidate for a successful rookie year. Barring any further setbacks and with the Thunder in contention for a playoff spot, there is a good chance that the former Gonzaga player could win the ROY award in his second season with the team.

NBA Rookie Of The Year Odds 2023/24

NBA Rookie of the year – Vegas Odds
Player Odds
Victor Wembanyama (SAS) -150
Sterling “Scoot” Henderson (POR) +250
Chet Holmgren (OKC) +250
Brandon Miller (CHA) +1200
Sasha Vezenkov (SAC) +2800
Cam Whitmore (HOU) +3000
Keyonte George (UTA) +3000
Amen Thompson (HOU) +3500
Ausar Thompson (DET) +4000
Vasilije Micic (OKC) +5000
Anthony Black (ORL) +5000
Gradey Dick (TOR) +5000
Jarace Walker (IND) +6600
Taylor Hendricks (UTA) +6600
Cason Wallace (OKC) +8000
Bilal Coulibaly (WAS) +8000
Gregory Jackson (MEM) +8000
Dariq Whitehead (BKN) +8000
Marcus Sasser (DET) +8000
Leonard Miller (MIN) +10000
Nick Smith Jr. (CHA) +12500
Dereck Lively II (DAL) +12500
Jordan Hawkins (NOP) +12500
Brandin Podziemski (GSW) +12500
Maxwell Lewis (LAL) +12500
Jaime Jaquez Jr. (MIA) +12500
Colby Jones (SAC) +12500
Rayan Rupert (POR) +12500
Jett Howard (ORL) +12500
Jalen Hood-Schifino (LAL) +15000
Kobe Bufkin (ATL) +15000
Emoni Bates (CLE) +15000
Brice Sensabaugh (UTA) +20000
Kris Murray (POR) +20000
Toumani Camara (PHX) +20000

NBA ROY Betting Odds Explained

Sports-betting can be confusing – so here’s how NBA betting odds work:

In basketball betting, the “+” and “-” symbols are used to indicate the odds or probability of a particular outcome – representing the potential payout or profit you can make when placing a bet on a specific team or event.

Here’s what they mean:

  • Odds with a Plus (+) Sign: The plus sign is typically associated with underdogs or less likely outcomes. When you see a plus sign next to a team’s name, it indicates that this team is not favored to win, and a successful bet on this team would yield a profit greater than your original stake. The plus sign also represents the amount you would win for every $100 bet. For example, if you see a player with odds of +250 to win the MVP award, it means you could potentially win $250 for every $100 wagered if that player wins.
  • Minus (-) Sign: When you see a minus sign next to a team or player’s name, it indicates that this team is favored to win. The minus sign also represents the amount you need to bet to win $100. For example, if you see a team with odds of -150, it means you would need to wager $150 to win $100 if that team wins. Same applies for betting on this season’s MVP.

History of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award

The NBA Rookie of the Year Award (ROTY) has a storied history that dates back to the early years of the league. It was first introduced during the 1952-53 season, making it one of the oldest individual awards in the NBA. Don Meineke of the Fort Wayne Pistons (now the Detroit Pistons) was the inaugural recipient of the award.

One of the most memorable early winners was Elgin Baylor, who secured the ROTY award in the 1958-59 season. Baylor’s remarkable season set a high standard, as he averaged 24.9 points and 15.0 rebounds per game. This demonstrated the immediate impact rookies could have on the league.

Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most iconic figures in basketball history, claimed the ROTY award in the 1959-60 season. Chamberlain’s debut season was nothing short of legendary, as he averaged 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds per game, both of which still stand as rookie records.

In 1997-98, Tim Duncan, a future Hall of Famer, won the ROTY award. He would go on to have an illustrious career with the San Antonio Spurs, winning multiple NBA championships and MVP awards.

LeBron James, often considered one of the greatest basketball players ever, received the ROTY award for the 2003-04 season. His entry into the NBA generated immense excitement and expectations, and he lived up to the hype, going on to achieve multiple MVP awards and NBA championships.

A significant milestone in the award’s history occurred in the 1984-85 season when Michael Jordan was named Rookie of the Year while playing for the Chicago Bulls. His rookie season saw him average 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game, foreshadowing his iconic career.

The ROTY award has evolved over the years to consider not just statistics but also a player’s overall impact on the game. Qualities like leadership, sportsmanship, and character now play a significant role in determining the recipient.

Some players have been honored with the award multiple times in their careers, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won the ROTY award in the 1969-70 season and again in the 1970-71 season, showcasing sustained excellence.

The internationalization of the NBA is evident in the list of winners, with players from around the world receiving the ROTY award. Notable international recipients include Pau Gasol from Spain and Dirk Nowitzki from Germany, both recognized in the early 2000s.

While the NBA ROTY award is exclusively for male players, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has a corresponding honor for female rookies known as the WNBA Rookie of the Year. Distinguished winners in this category include Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.

The NBA Rookie of the Year award is a testament to individual excellence and a glimpse into the future of the NBA, showcasing the potential and promise of young stars as they embark on their professional basketball careers.

David Burke

A computer science graduate living in London, David is an MLB, NFL and NHL fan and general sports-nerd who loves analyzing data to glean useful insights, writing about sports and cheering for underdog.