The 2023 NBA season may still be a month out, but we’re looking ahead to the 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year race.
This year’s competition will feature some of the most tantalizing prospects we’ve seen in decades, and although it may not end up being a close contest, we can get in on some of the top NBA rookies for 2023 at a short price right now.
Here’s a look at the 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year odds and our favorite picks to bring home the award.
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds 2023-24
These NBA odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m. ET.
- Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (-120)
- Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (+250)
- Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (+350)
- Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets (+1600)
- Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets (+2000)
- Jarace Walker, Indiana Pacers (+2000)
- Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets (+2000)
- Ausar Thompson, Detroit Pistons (+2200)
- Keyonte George, Utah Jazz (+2500)
- Sasha Vezenkov, Sacramento Kings (+3000)
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Who Will Win NBA ROTY?
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs (-120)
Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit
The clear-cut choice at this stage of the NBA ROTY race is Wembanyama. The 7-foot-5 forward is unlike any player the league has ever seen, demonstrating the size to be one of the league’s most dominant interior scorers while possessing a handle enviable by other guards.
Already, Wembanyama is a terrific scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker, averaging 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and three blocks across 34 games for Metropolitans 92 this past season in France — his fourth professional year playing overseas.
Wemby struggled in his Summer League debut, which made the Rookie of the Year race a bit closer in the eyes of oddsmakers. His second game was much better, but even still, we can now get in at near-even odds.
At (-120), now may be the best time to back Wembanyama as the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year, making this my NBA bet of the day.
NBA Rookie of the Year Favorites
Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder (+250)
Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units
Holmgren was one of the top candidates to win NBA ROTY entering the 2022-23 season, but a pre-season foot injury forced him to miss the entire year. Now, having already spent a season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he’s back in the running.
The similarities between Holmgren and Wembanyama aren’t hard to find. Both are incredibly young and lanky, with Holmgren checking in at 7-foot-1 and around 200 pounds.
Holmgren is a more refined outside shooter and less of a playmaker, though, knocking down 39% of his attempts in college.
In five Summer League appearances in 2022, Holmgren averaged 14 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 42.1% from beyond the arc. This year, he put up 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks across four appearances.
Assuming he can translate those skills to the NBA this season, he’ll almost certainly be a factor in the race all year long.
Scoot Henderson, Portland Trail Blazers (+350)
Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.5 Units
If it isn’t Wembanyama or Holmgren, the next candidate in line to win Rookie of the Year is likely to be Henderson. The high-flying 19-year-old guard had a terrific campaign with G League Ignite, averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals across 30 games.
When looking to make an NBA comparison, think prime Russell Westbrook. This is a player who will struggle with his outside shot, but his ferocity around the rim and playmaking ability will negate his lack of outside shooting for time to come.
Henderson is also a strong defender despite his size, playing with the right amount of intensity to offset his 6-foot-2 frame. With Damian Lillard seemingly on his way out of Portland, this is Henderson’s time to shine.
NBA Rookie of the Year Contenders
Brandon Miller, Charlotte Hornets (+1600)
Miller is the top college prospect of this draft class, and what a freshman campaign he had at Alabama. The 6-foot-9 wing made a name for himself as an elite two-way prospect, averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks over 37 games.
Miller also demonstrated incredible three-point shooting ability, knocking down 38.4% of his looks on 7.5 attempts per game. He’s said he models his game after Paul George, and that inspiration shows up in almost all facets of his game.
His Summer League performances were rough, bumping this number from (+1000) to (+1600). Oddsmakers clearly believe this is a three-person race at present, and despite being a believer in Miller’s potential, I’m inclined to stick with them for now.
Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets (+2000)
Although he’s hardly a reliable shooter, Thompson’s undeniable athleticism and all-around ability make him (and his twin brother, Ausar) one of the more interesting players in the top end of this class. Hailing from Overtime Elite, the 6-foot-7 guard is lightning-quick, a strong defender, and an efficient finisher at the rim.
The concerns about the level of competition he was up against are legitimate, but he was taken at No. 4 overall for a reason. His transition offense alone is probably enough to get and keep him on an NBA floor, and he put that on display in his brief Summer League action.
Rookie of the Year may be a stretch since he’s rather unrefined, but landing in Houston provides him with the time and role he needs to become a star in this league.
NBA Rookie of the Year Sleepers
Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets (+2000)
Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.25 Units
Whitmore is a Villanova guy, and that’s enough to get me to bite. The shortlist of Wildcats in the NBA today includes Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart, all of whom have become stars (or at least high-level role players).
He was also named Summer League MVP, averaging 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over six games. He led all players in total scoring and helped guide the Rockets to the championship game, where they fell to the Cavaliers.
- See where the Rockets rank in our 2023 NBA Draft Grades.
Whitmore is an intriguing Rookie of the Year candidate following his slide to No. 20 on draft night. He has a real chance to make a strong first impression with the Rockets, and that’s worth a small wager in my eyes.
Keyonte George, Utah Jazz (+2500)
I wasn’t super high on George during the pre-draft process — inefficient guards are far from my ideal player — and while he showed some flashes in Summer League, my feelings on the 19-year-old rookie remain unchanged.
He looked great at the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 21.7 points and 6.3 assists in three games while shooting 52.3% from the field and 44.4% from deep. However, in three Salt Lake City Summer League games, George scored 15.7 points on 37.8% shooting from the field and 29.4% from three.
Realistically, he’ll probably end up falling somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, but his streaky play is somewhat concerning. I’m also curious to see what kind of run he gets as a rookie, as the Jazz are likely to have him come off the bench.