Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is the first odds-on favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year since Kevin Durant ahead of the 2007-08 season.
In 80 starts of Durant’s rookie season with the Seattle SuperSonics, he averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steal, and 34.6 minutes per game. Plus, he shot 43% from the floor and 87.3% at the foul line.
Durant went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year and was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Team at the age of 19. Wembanyama, 19, turns 20 in January.
According to the BetOnline sportsbook, Wembanyama has -145 odds to win the award in 2024. Chet Holmgren has second-best odds (+250), followed by Scott Henderson (+350), Brandon Miller (+2500), and Amen Thompson (+3300).
In July, the 7-foot-3 forward inked a four-year, $55 million deal with the Spurs. The French star is the third first-overall pick in San Antonio’s franchise history, after David Robinson and Tim Duncan.
2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds: Victor Wembanyama First No. 1 Favorite Since Kevin Durant
In San Antonio’s 122-121 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in its preseason opener, Wembanyama scored a team-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and two 3-pointers in only 19 minutes as a starter.
Furthermore, in the Spurs’ 120-104 preseason win over the Miami Heat on Oct. 13, Wembanyama recorded 23 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in just 22 minutes of action.
Here are some key points to note:
- Forwards/centers have won NBA Rookie of the Year just four times in the last 20 seasons.
- The No. 1 pick has won ROY four times in the past 10 seasons.
- The Rookie of the Year has been drafted in the top five in 16 of the last 20 seasons.
- Only one ROY winner this century (Malcolm Brogdon, 36th overall in 2016) was drafted outside of the lottery.
Wembanyama and the Spurs open the season Wednesday at Dallas as a four-point underdog. This Western Conference matchup will air live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET. The over/under on Wembanyama’s total points against the Mavericks is currently set at 17.5, per the BetOnline sportsbook.
According to a few NBA betting sites, the Spurs hold 22nd-ranked odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, and Minnesota Timberwolves.