NBA Awards Rankings: Victor Wembanyama enters All-Star break on superstar trajectory

An updated look at the NBA Rookie of the Year race entering the 2024 All-Star break.

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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The All-Star break arrives as a much-needed balm for injury-plagued teams around the NBA. It also provides us with an opportunity to sit back and reflect on the season so far, and the season to come.

That brings us to the 2023-24 rookie class. Last year's NBA Draft was considered one of the best ever — headlined by the indomitable basketball stylings of 7-foot-4 Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, who landed most fortuitously with the San Antonio Spurs. Building on the legacy of great frontcourt players in San Antonio, Wemby is already well on his way to stardom.

In addition to Wembanyama, we have the 2023 holdover in Chet Holmgren, who missed his "real" rookie season with a foot injury. Holmgren was the No. 2 pick a couple years ago, but he was No. 1 on a lot of boards (including yours truly). He has rewarded patience and faith with a special, borderline All-Star level season. It's rare enough to have one all-time great rookie, but two is unheard of. Ben Simmons and Luka Doncic have competition.

The rest of the rookie crop has been a joy, too. There are several future All-Stars and high-level role players in the mix. The Thompson twins are athletic marvels. Cam Whitmore — surprise, surprise — shouldn't have fallen to 20th overall. And yes, Jaime Jaquez is going to win the dunk contest (we can hope).

Let's dive in.

NBA Rookie of the Year rankings at 2024 All-Star break

Honorable mentions: Cam Whitmore, Scoot Henderson, Duop Reath, Toumani Camara, Amen Thompson

Pelicans. 10. 10. 69. . Jordan Hawkins. player. . G. Jordan Hawkins

9.6 PPG | 2.7 RPG | 1.3 APG | .401 FG% | .381 3P% | .847 FT%

Jordan Hawkins' role has been inconsistent based on who the Pelicans actually have available, but his value on the wing in undeniable. He's a case-and-point example of the value in one elite, translatable skill. Hawkins is a weak link on defense and a relatively one-note offensive player, but his talent as a fly-around shooter opens up a ton of options for New Orleans' offense. He can bend defenses with off-ball movement and drill 3s from any angle. There's a ton of short and long-term value in that skill.

64. F. player. 9. . . Ausar Thomspon. 9. Pistons . Ausar Thomspon

8.6 PPG | 6.5 RPG | 1.9 APG | .485 FG% | .155 3P% | .619 FT%

Ausar Thomspon has tapered off and come back alive in what has been an uneven season both individually and collectively. The Pistons are a hot mess, but Thompson's defensive playmaking (1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks), combined with efficient rim finishing and valuable connective passing, keeps him on the All-Rookie radar.

G. Jazz. Keyonte George. 118. Keyonte George. 8. 8. player. .

11.2 PPG | 2.8 RPG | 4.3 APG | .385 FG% | .335 3P% | .821 FT%

Keyonte George has struggled in the efficiency department, but he looks perfectly comfortable as Utah's primary ball-handler (18 starts in 49 games). George is a twitchy self-creator with pull-up range out to the 3-point line. He's capable of major shot-making displays, but his decision-making with the ball remains a work in progress. Utah will gladly exercise patience.

. Brandin Podziemski. 7. Warriors. Brandin Podziemski. 7. . G. player. 41

9.8 PPG | 5.8 RPG | 3.8 APG | .465 FG% | .383 3P% | .610 FT%

Brandin Podziemski has been an integral member of the Warriors' supporting cast as a rookie — no small accomplishment considering Steve Kerr's track record when it comes to actually playing young talent. Podz is the poster child for a Golden State role player — a high-feel connector, eager off-ball mover, and dynamic spot-up shooter. He's consistently hitting timely 3s, making the right reads, and defending well enough to stick.

. 149. 6. Cason Wallace. Cason Wallace. player. . G. Thunder. 6

6.8 PPG | 2.2 RPG | 1.3 APG | .504 FG% | .412 3P% | .846 FT%

Cason Wallace has been a mini miracle for the OKC bench unit. He was always billed as a ready-now contributor, but the extent of his readiness is still a mild shock. Wallace is hitting 41.2 percent of his 3s and contributing in a variety of spots for the OKC offense. He's operating on and off the ball, avoiding mistakes (0.5 turnovers) and defending his tail off on the other end. Wallace is a playoff-ready rotation cog for one of the best teams in basketball. He deserves major props, even if the numbers don't leap off the screen.