Rookie of the Year – Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
Is there anything to say about this one? Just kidding, in actuality the Rookie of the Year race may not be as open and shut as many think. Of course, Victor Wembanyama is the frontrunner and expected winner.
All summer all we have heard are the unbelievable comparisons people are making for this kid. And let us be clear, he is just a kid. It is easy to forget when you see his 7’4″ frame. We have heard everything from him being a cross between Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Steph Curry. Or Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James. I have said before, that I would not be surprised if someone told me a media member or two claimed Wembanyama could walk on water.
Now do not get me wrong, I believe Wemby will take the league by storm in a year or two, but expectations need to be tempered. He is coming over from playing professional basketball in France, which is a much lesser level of competition than the NBA. Sure, his shot-blocking ability and defensive prowess will likely be impactful for the San Antonio Spurs immediately, but let us be fair and give him time to develop.
In regards to the Rookie of the Year race, please do not forget that Chet Holmgren is eligible as he did not play all of last year. Remember Donovan Mitchell’s campaign against Ben Simmons when he claimed he was a true rookie and Simmons was not. Maybe Wemby will have to utilize that strategy although it failed to work in the end.
This rookie class is extremely exciting including the two players just mentioned as well as the Thompson twins and Scoot Henderson. Do not cash your betting slip on Wemby just yet.