Victor Wembanyama Voted Unanimous Rookie of the Year

Victor Wembanyama Voted Unanimous Rookie of the Year article feature image

Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images Pictured: Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama was considered a generational talent well before the San Antonio Spurs drafted him first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. He delivered on that promise right off the bat as the French big man was named the NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday.

"Wemby” was first on every ballot, becoming only the sixth unanimous winner in history, joining Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard and Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s also the third San Antonio No. 1 pick to win the award, joining Hall of Famers Robinson and Tim Duncan.

Wembanyama closed at -145 to win Rookie of the Year entering the season. According to Evan Abrams, he joins Kevin Durant (2007) as the only players since 2005 to win the award as the odds-on favorite entering the year.

The 7'4" big man averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 3.9 assists per game over 71 games. His league-leading 3.6 blocks were especially impressive as they were 1.2 more than the next closest players (Walker Kessler and Book Lopez). He’s only the second rookie in history to lead the league in blocks as Manute Bol did the same in the 1985-86 campaign.

Wembanyama – who didn’t turn 20 until midway through the season — is one of three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, along with Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo. As such, he has a good chance of being the first rookie to ever make First-Team All-Defense.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren finished as the runner up in Rookie of the Year voting and garnered 98 of 99 second-place votes. He averaged 16.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in his debut season, which was pushed back a year after he suffered a Lisfranc injury in a Pro-Am game shortly before the 2022-23 campaign. Meanwhile, Charlotte Hornets guard Brandon Miller finished third after averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 boards and 2.4 assists per game.

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Doug Ziefel
Jul 25, 2024 UTC