3 players to bet to win NBA Rookie of the Year after first week of Summer League

Who should you consider to win Rookie of the Year at this point in the offseason?

Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson. / Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

We’re through the first week of the NBA’s Summer League, and there are plenty of intriguing rookies in the 2023 Draft Class (and Chet Holmgren, I didn’t forget about you) to consider for the Rookie of the Year award.

No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, who put on a clinic in his second Summer League game, is the favorite to win the award, but he’s actually at a pretty reasonable price at the moment. 

The Spurs are shutting Wemby down for the rest of the Summer League, and there’s a chance two other top picks won’t play as well. Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson (No. 3 overall pick) injured his shoulder against the Houston Rockets and No. 4 overall pick Amen Thompson, who also hurt his ankle in that game and will miss the rest of the Summer League. 

Despite that, all three players really impressed in their limited action in the first week. 

Holmgren, who played well in the Salt Lake City Summer League, could do the same thing Ben Simmons did and win the Rookie of the Year award after missing his entire first NBA season due to injury. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder big man is a really unique player (like Wembanyama), and he could make a major impact on an OKC team that is looking to sneak into the playoffs in the 2023-24 season. 

I haven’t even mentioned No. 2 overall pick, Brandon Miller, who is sure to see ample chances in Charlotte to prove that he was worthy of that selection. Miller’s summer has been up and down (especially because of his foul trouble), but he’s flashed some elite scoring ability as well. 

It’s really early to start betting on NBA futures, but there are three rookies that I already am considering sprinkling on for the Rookie of the Year award. 

NBA Rookie of the Year odds

Victor Wembanyama

What more can I say about Wemby that hasn’t already been said? 

He’s a generational prospect who could end up leading the NBA in blocks per game this season. 

Taking him at -130 is a little bit of a risk because he could get hurt, but it seems like if he stays healthy oddsmakers are expecting him to run away with this award. If the Spurs are in the playoff conversation behind Wemby this season, he’s going to win ROY. 

Scoot Henderson

Scoot Henderson really just needed one quarter of Summer League action to show he’s ready to play at the NBA level. 

He made great decisions, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds and six assists in just 21 minutes against Houston, and he has a great chance to walk into a massive role in Portland. 

With Damian Lillard requesting a trade, this is Henderson’s team. That makes him a great Rookie of the Year candidate. 

Why you should bet on Scoot: The No. 3 overall pick in the draft has a clear path towards a huge role, and his game is extremely transferable to the NBA. Wemby is the trendy pick, and rightfully so – but Henderson’s ability to get to his spots is elite for a player at his age. 

Amen Thompson

It’s a shame that Thompson only had one game to showcase his talent, but the Rockets rookie looked the part, scoring 16 points while adding four rebounds, five assists, three steals and four blocks against Portland.

His role is going to be interesting on a Rockets team full of young talent, but he may already have an inside track to playing over Kevin Porter Jr. 

Why you should bet Thompson: There’s a chance Thompson puts up huge numbers on both ends, and he has a chance to turn around a bad team. He’s my third choice, but an injury to Scoot or Wemby could completely alter this market. 

If Thompson’s Summer League showing is a sign of things to come, he should immediately slot into one of the top options in Houston’s system.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.