Is Victor Wembanyama a Lock to Win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Dec 19, 2023 07:00 PM
Is Victor Wembanyama a Lock to Win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

With the 2023 NBA draft set to take place on Thursday, June 22 at 8 p.m. EST in Brooklyn, New York, sports betting operators are working overtime. They have lines on, well, everything. It isn't just betting odds on the 2023 NBA draft, either. They have started setting lines for year-end stat lines and awards—including 2023-24 Rookie of the Year betting odds.

The favorite to win next season's new-kid-on-the-block hardware won't surprise anyone. It's Victor Wembanyama, who will be selected No. 1 overall by the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. And not only is he the consensus pick, but oddsmakers aren't giving anyone else much of a chance. You can see the latest betting odds to win NBA rookie of the Year below:

To Win 2023-24 Rookie of the YearBetOnlineBovadaBetUS
Victor Wembanyama-225-226-255
Scoot Henderson+350+400+400
Chet Holmgren+450+450+400
Brandon Miller+950+1000+875
Amen Thompson+1400+1400+1500
Cam Whitmore+2000+2000+2000
Ausar Thompson+2200+2500+2500
Jarace Walker+2500+2500+2500
Anthony Black+3000+3000+3500
Taylor Hendricks+3500+3500+4000
Gradey Dick+3500+4000+4500

Please remember to double-check these online NBA betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our odds to win 2023-24 Rookie of the Year are accurate as of Monday, June 19. Since this award won't be handed out until the end of next season, these lines have plenty of time to change. Pay special attention to their movement following the 2023 NBA draft. Most of these players don't have an official team yet. Their NBA Rookie of the Year betting odds could shift depending on where they land this Thursday.

Granted, Victor Wembanyama doesn't have this problem. We know he'll be on the Spurs. But will he parlay his top-pick status into a Rookie of the Year award? Is there a case for picking against him? And if so, who's the best bet? 'Tis the season for betting on NBA futures. Let's hop to it.

Victor Wembanyama is a Generational Prospect, But is He a No-Brainer for NBA Rookie of the Year?

Victor Wembanyama (-225) is considered the best NBA draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003. The 7'2" phenom has unparalleled size and length that he uses to dominate with roving shot-blocking on defense. His handles on offense, meanwhile, make him look like a point guard in a giant's body. Scouts have expressed concerns about his shooting, but he's expected to be a star immediately upon entering the pros.

San Antonio is the perfect landing spot for him in many ways. Their track record for player development is absurd, and Wembanyama will have the opportunity to work under one of the best head coaches in league history, Gregg Poppovich. Unlike other potential destinations, the Spurs are also perfectly suited to cut Wembanyama loose. They don't have players who will warrant touches or minutes in front of him. He is the entire future of their franchise.

Still, San Antonio is also notorious for slowly bringing along their prospects. There's a chance they monitor Wembanyama's minutes, especially given his unique body type. He is incomparably tall, with a rail-thin frame. Many are worried he could break down under extreme wear and tear. And since this is the first time he'll play an 82-game schedule, it wouldn't be shocking if he plays 25 minutes or less while being rested for a handful of games.

Load management will be detrimental to his Rookie of the Year case. Voters tend to give favorites the benefit of the doubt, but this is very much considered an award defined by volume. Decision-makers will gravitate towards those who play the most minutes and games.

At the same time, those who play the most are often the first overall picks. Paolo Banchero was the No. 1 selection in 2022 and just won the Rookie of the Year award. Four of the last nine NBA Rookie of the Year winners, in fact, were taken with the first overall pick. This is all to say: Wembanyama is a worthwhile favorite.

Victor Wembanyama To win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

Don't Forget About Chet Holmgren of the Oklahoma City Thunder

After missing all of his would-be first season this past year, Chet Holmgren (+450) is eligible to win the 2023-24 Rookie of the Year award. And he has the talent to do it. He's a shot-blocking superhero who can attempt threes and put the ball on the floor. He also happens to play the Oklahoma City Thunder's most vacant position.

Holmgren is still recovering from a foot injury that cost him an entire year. That will scare some bettors away. It shouldn't.

Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year after missing his first season with injuries. Ditto for Blake GriffinJoel Embiid nearly won Rookie of the Year after missing his first two seasons with injury.

The biggest threat to Holmgren's candidacy, aside from Victor Wembanyama, might be the Thunder themselves. They might monitor his minutes as he recovers from his foot issue. That matters. Only three players in NBA history have won Rookie of the Year after averaging fewer than 30 minutes per game: LaMelo Ball (2020-21), Malcolm Brogdon (2016-17) and Mike Miller (2000-01).

Chet Holmgren To win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

Who's More Like to Beat Out Victor Wembanyama: Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller?

Scoot Henderson (+350) and Brandon Miller (+950) are the odds-on favorites to go in the top three, along with Victor Wembanyama, according to all of the best online betting sites in the USA. And yet, before even knowing which order they're selected, one already has much better odds on 2024 NBA Rookie of the Year than the other.

Linemakers are heavily favoring Henderson. We get the appeal. He is a point guard who profiles as both a primary scorer and passer. Those players have more influence over the game, which means they're more likely to compile stats that appeal to voters.

However, we'd caution against investing in Henderson over Miller without serious consideration. If Henderson falls to the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 3, his opportunities will be limited unless they trade Damian Lillard. To be honest, you're better off betting on whomever ends up with the Charlotte Hornets at No. 2 to win Rookie of the Year. For now, though, we default to Henderson.

Scoot Henderson To win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

Best Dark Horse to Win NBA Rookie of the Year

Some bettors will give consideration to the upside of Amen Thompson (+1400). We understand, but we'd avoid him. He's probably going to the Houston Rockets, who are currently a mess.

For our money, we prefer Taylor Hendricks (+3500). His long-term upside is considered limited, because he doesn't have a ton of self-creation or table-setting skills. That's not a big deal in this discussion.

Hendricks' rim protection and spot-up shooting should immediately translate to the pros. There's a more than slight chance he ends up being the most impactful rookie—no matter where he lands.

Taylor Hendricks To win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year Prediction

In the end, we can't bring ourselves to pick against Victor Wembanyama.

Generational prospects seldom disappoint in their first season. LeBron himself won Rookie of the Year. So did Luka Doncic. Zion Williamson would have won if he didn't get injured.

Unless you believe Wembanyama will struggle to make it through the season healthy, he's the smartest pick.

Victor Wembanyama To win 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your NBA betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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