The OKC Thunder have seen Chet Holmgren overtake Victor Wembanyama for the top spot in the KIA Rookie Ladder via NBA dot com. As the Rookie of the Year race heats up, the heads are starting to turn for the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Heading into this season, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Victor Wembanyama would take home the Rookie of the Year award. The NBA voters have already crowned him as the best prospect since LeBron James, Generational and game-breaking. It felt like all Wembanyama had to do was roll out of bed to win the award.
Chet Holmgren finally nabs the top spot in the Rookie Ladder, knocking off Victor Wembanyama.
After missing the entire 2022-23 campaign due to a Lisfranc Fracture, the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft had to wait for his debut to come in the 2023-24 NBA season. This set up an interesting race for the award between two unicorn-like big men.
It was not long ago Chet Holmgren was the lofted seven-footer with guard like skills. While his hype trail never picked up the same steam as Victor Wembanyama’s locomotive, Holmgren was prized in his own right.
Coming out of Gonzaga, the only knock on Holmgren was his frame. He had advanced playmaking skills for his size, elite shooting at his position, a lethal option in the pick-and-roll, and made such a high impact on the defensive end.
As the 2023-24 NBA season got underway, Holmgren was as good as advertised, even if his debut was delayed by a year. Victor Wembanyama came out of the gate with highlights and hype, but his inefficient play made some wonder if Holmgren (on a winning team) deserved to be the leader in the clubhouse for the Rookie of the Year award.
The OKC Thunder have seen Chet Holmgren average 17 points, nearly eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal per game while shooting 56 percent from the floor, 46 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent at the free throw line.
Victor Wembanyama, who is playing without a point guard, is averaging 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists, a steal, and two blocks. However, Wembanyama is shooting just 42 percent from the floor, a lowly 27 percent from distance, and 78 percent at the charity stripe.
The winner of this award will come down to whether the voters heavily impact winning and efficiency over the raw counting stats. Each top-notch big man prospect has a great chance to earn the Rookie of the Year award in a race that will assuredly go down to the wire.