Rookie of the Year isn’t always a fair contest. With the 2023-24 season, the likely No. 1 selection in the NBA Draft will be Victor Wembanyama. Unlike many of the other players who will be available as part of NBA Rookie of the Year Odds, Wembanyama will enter the league after already playing professional basketball. The regular season was abuzz with rumors of tanking to try and get the French prospect on board.
While Wembanyama seems like a potential star prospect who will be picked by the San Antonio Spurs at No. 1 overall, there are several other players on the board who will impact the NBA standings next season.
Here’s a look at some potential NBA Rookie of the Year winners for next season.
Why is Wembanyama so hyped?
Wembanyama is 7-foot-4 and can handle the ball. Anyone looking at NBA player stats over the past decade show that traditional back-to-the-basket big men are going out of style. Wembanyama can provide shooting in addition to rebounding and other important skills.
Wembanyama will also be able to increase his NBA Rookie of the Year odds thanks to his past experience as a professional. He started playing in LNB Pro A in France with Natnterre 92 in 2019. Wembanyama was a two-time LNB All-Star and was chosen as the All-Star Game MVP once. He played last season for the Metropolitans 92. One thing that will benefit Wembanyama is being coached by Greg Popovich.
Anyone making NBA picks over the past 30 years can see the impact the Spurs coach has had on the league. He also has experience working with young big men like Tim Duncan.
Henderson hopes to make splash from G League
When the G League was established by the NBA as an alternative for kids who didn’t want to go to college, there was a question if they would be able to get top athletes. Scoot Henderson is one player who may be picked after Wembanyama to consider for NBA Rookie of the Year odds. Henderson was the primary ballhandler for G League Ignite and had a strong season as an 18-year-old.
He did have some issues with turnovers and inefficiency, but some of that may be due to a concussion that he suffered last season. NBA odds always favor a player who can put up a lot of stats for award honors. Henderson may have the skillset to do so.
Miller may be rejuvenated in the pros
Alabama forward Brandon Miller is a player many will look forward to watching play on the NBA schedule. Miller had an outstanding freshman year with the Crimson Tide that was tainted by a controversy surrounding the murder of a young student by a friend of Miller’s. While Miller was not charged with any crime, the allegations surrounding it seems to hamper his performance in the NCAA Tournament.
Miller averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during his only year at Alabama. If he stays off the NBA injury report, the 6-foot-9 forward could cause problems for the opposing defense.
Walker is ready to take off
Houston product Jarace Walker is someone who fits what many NBA team stats hope to see. Walker was a proficient shooter in college, knocking down 35 percent of his 3-pointers with the Cougars last season. Walker averaged 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for Houston.
Jarace Walker also has a floater in his arsenal that should translate well to the pros. The challenge for Walker will be adjusting to the NBA game and being able to keep up his scoring potential. However, he was effective at catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which will provide him with a lot of opportunities in the NBA.