2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds

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Celebrating the performance of the league’s most talented young stars, we take a look at some of the frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year trophy!

2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on April 13, 2022

Player Team Odds
Evan Mobley Cleveland Cavaliers -900
Cade Cunningham Detroit Pistons +550
Scottie Barnes Toronto Raptors +700
Josh Giddey Oklahoma City Thunder +4000
Franz Wagner Orlando Magic +8000
Ayo Dosunmu Chicago Bulls +15000
Jalen Green Houston Rockets +20000
Jalen Suggs Orlando Magic +30000

Every year the NBA Rookie of the Year Award is presented to the league’s most exceptional first-year player. The NBA hopes to present the achievement at the NBA Awards, which has been canceled for the past two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rookie of the Year is one of the few awards that rarely takes into account team success. Due to the nature of the player pool, the voting panel tends to reward individual success over other contributing factors.

Let’s answer some of the most important questions about the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

2022 NBA Rookie of the Year

Who is the Favorite to Win NBA Rookie of the Year in 2022?

(C) Evan Mobley – 7-0, 215 lb (213 cm, 97 kg) – United States

Season Team Age Games MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P%
21-22 CLE 20 50 34.1 14.9 8.1 2.6 0.8 1.6 .503 .265

The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the season with very low expectations, but upon drafting Evan Mobley the team seemed to come together and find some real success. Already one of the league’s biggest defensive threats, Mobley has started his career on a high.

Despite being expected to struggle on the offensive end, Mobley has been fantastic for the Cavaliers in the scoring department. His shooting has been better than advertised and in combination with Darius Garland his finishing has been on display.

At this point in the season, it is Mobley’s award to lose. While an injury can still derail his efforts, the Cavaliers big man has been productive and active enough to start his career off with a lucrative award.

Who was the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year?

The winner of the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year award was LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets. Ball was the first American to win the Rookie of the Year Award after spending his pre-NBA experience outside of the United States.

In his Rookie of the Year winning season, Ball averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game. Despite his fantastic contributions, Ball was only able to lead his Hornets to a 33-39 finish.

Ball didn’t win the Rookie of the Year award by a landslide, but he won comfortably. Ball accumulated 84.0 first place votes and 465 of a possible 495 points by the voting panel. Second place was Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who accumulated 15.0 first place votes.

When Will the NBA Rookie of the Year Winner be Announced?

The winner of the Rookie of the Year Award is expected to be announced following the conclusion of the NBA Finals, at the annual NBA Awards. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two NBA Awards shows were cancelled, and the award winner was named after the conclusion of the regular season.

Previous to the introduction of the NBA Awards, the Rookie of the Year was named after the conclusion of the regular season. Awards were sometimes presented prior to the winners playoff game, should their team have been participating.

NBA Rookie of the Year by Year

Year Player Nationality Team School/Prior Experience Draft Pick
2021 LaMelo Ball United States Charlotte Hornets Illawarra Hawks (AUS) 3 (2020)
2020 Ja Morant United States Memphis Grizzlies Murray State 2 (2019)
2019 Luka Doncic Slovenia Dallas Mavericks Real Madrid (ESP) 3 (2018)
2018 Ben Simmons Australia Philadelphia 76ers LSU 1 (2016)
2017 Malcolm Brogdon United States Milwaukee Bucks Virginia 36 (2016)
2016 Karl-Anthony Towns Dominican Republic Minnesota Timberwolves Kentucky 1 (2015)
2015 Andrew Wiggins Canada Minnesota Timberwolves Kansas 1 (2014)
2014 Michael Carter-Williams United States Philadelphia 76ers Syracuse 11 (2013)
2013 Damian Lillard United States Portland Trail Blazers Weber State 6 (2012)
2012 Kyrie Irving United States Cleveland Cavaliers Duke 1 (2011)
2011 Blake Griffin United States LA Clippers Oklahoma 1 (2009)
2010 Tyreke Evans United States Sacramento Kings Memphis 4 (2009)
2009 Derrick Rose United States Chicago Bulls Memphis 1 (2008)
2008 Kevin Durant Unites States Seattle Supersonics Texas 2 (2007)
2007 Brandon Roy United States Portland Trail Blazers Washington 6 (2006)
2006 Chris Paul United States New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets Wake Forest 4 (2005)
2005 Emeka Okafor United States Charlotte Bobcats Connecticut 2 (2004)
2004 LeBron James United States Cleveland Cavaliers St. Vincent-St. Mary HS 1 (2003)
2003 Amar’e Stoudemire United States Phoenix Suns Cypress Creek HS 9 (2002)
2002 Pau Gasol Spain Memphis Grizzlies FC Barcelona (ESP) 3 (2001)
2001 Mike Miller United States Orlando Magic Florida 5 (2000)
2000 Elton Brand United States Chicago Bulls Duke 1 (1999)
2000 Steve Francis United States Houston Rockets Maryland 2 (1999)
1999 Vince Carter United States Toronto Raptors North Carolina 5 (1998)
1998 Tim Duncan United States San Antonio Spurs Wake Forest 1 (1997)
1997 Allen Iverson United States Philadelphia 76ers Georgetown 1 (1996)
1996 Damon Stoudamire United States Toronto Raptors Arizona 7 (1995)
1995 Grant Hill United States Detroit Pistons Duke 3 (1994)
1995 Jason Kidd United States Dallas Mavericks California 2 (1994)
1994 Chris Webber United States Golden State Warriors Michigan 1 (1993)
1993 Shaquille O’Neal United States Orlando Magic LSU 1 (1992)
1992 Larry Johnson United States Charlotte Hornets UNLV 1 (1991)
1991 Derrick Coleman United States New Jersey Nets Syracuse 1 (1990)
1990 David Robinson United States San Antonio Spurs Navy 1 (1987)
1989 Mitch Richmond United States Golden State Warriors Kansas State 5 (1988)
1988 Mark Jackson United States New York Knicks St. John’s 18 (1987)
1987 Chuck Person United States Indiana Pacers Auburn 4 (1986)
1986 Patrick Ewing United States New York Knicks Georgetown 1 (1985)
1985 Michael Jordan United States Chicago Bulls North Carolina 3 (1984)
1984 Ralph Sampson United States Houston Rockets Virginia 1 (1983)
1983 Terry Cummings United States San Diego Clippers DePaul 2 (1982)
1982 Buck Williams United States New Jersey Nets Maryland 3 (1981)
1981 Darrell Griffith United States Utah Jazz Louisville 2 (1980)
1980 Larry Bird United States Boston Celtics Indiana State 6 (1978)
1979 Phil Ford United States Kansas City Kings North Carolina 2 (1978)
1978 Walter Davis United States Phoenix Suns North Carolina 5 (1977)
1977 Adrian Dantley United States Buffalo Braves Notre Dame 6 (1976)
1976 Alvan Adams United States Phoenix Suns Oklahoma 4 (1975)
1975 Jamaal Wilkes United States Golden State Warriors UCLA 11 (1974)
1974 Ernie DiGregorio United States Buffalo Braves Providence 3 (1973)
1973 Bob McAdoo United States Buffalo Braves North Carolina 2 (1972)
1972 Sidney Wicks United States Portland Trail Blazers UCLA 2 (1971)
1971 Dave Cowens United States Boston Celtics Florida State 4 (1970)
1971 Geoff Petrie United States Portland Trail Blazers Princeton 8 (1970)
1970 Lew Alcindor United States Milwaukee Bucks UCLA 1 (1969)
1969 Wes Unseld United States Baltimore Bullets Louisville 2 (1968)
1968 Earl Monroe United States Baltimore Bullets Winston-Salem State 2 (1967)
1967 Dave Bing United States Detroit Pistons Syracuse 2 (1966)
1966 Rick Barry United States San Francisco Warriors Miami (FL) 2 (1965)
1965 Willis Reed United States New York Knicks Grambling 8 (1964)
1964 Jerry Lucas United States Cincinnati Royals Ohio State T (1962)
1963 Terry Dischinger United States Chicago Zephyrs Purdue 8 (1962)
1962 Walt Bellamy United States Cincinnati Warriors Indiana 1 (1961)
1961 Oscar Robertson United States Cincinnati Warriors Cincinnati 1/T (1960)
1960 Wilt Chamberlain United States Philadelphia Warriors Kansas/Harlem Globetrotters T (1959)
1959 Elgin Baylor United States Minneapolis Lakers Seattle 1 (1958)
1958 Woody Sauldsberry United States Philadelphia Warriors Texas Southern 60 (1957)
1957 Tom Heinsohn United States Boston Celtics Holy Cross T (1956)
1956 Maurice Stokes United States Rochester Royals Saint Francis (PA) 2 (1955)
1955 Bob Pettit United States Milwaukee Hawks LSU 2 (1954)
1954 Ray Felix United States Baltimore Bullets Long Island 1 (1953)
1953 Don Meineke United States Fort Wayne Pistons Dayton 12 (1952)

Does the NBA Rookie of the Year Receive A Prize?

The winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year Award doesn’t directly receive a prize. In commemoration of their accomplishment, the Rookie of the Year is awarded the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy. In terms of cash incentives or bonuses, there are none.

While many player contracts have built in performance incentives that provide bonuses based on statistical accomplishment, no such agreement is known to exist in rookie contracts.

In a sense, the prize for the Rookie of the Year is the ability to write their name into the annals of NBA history. The prestige of the award tends to result in greater opportunity for exposure, endorsements, and nationally broadcasted games for his team.

Is the NBA Rookie of the Year Determined by Fan Vote?

The Rookie of the Year is not decided by fan vote. Fan voting is reserved for the NBA All-Star game, as the event celebrates what the viewing public appreciate about the first phase of the NBA season.

The winner of the Rookie of the Year Award is selected by a panel of United States and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters. The panel casts a first-, second-, and third-place vote (worth five, three, and one point respectively), the rookie with the highest combined vote total wins the award.

Has There Ever Been a Unanimous Rookie of the Year?

There have been multiple unanimous Rookie of the Year winners throughout the history of the award. These players dominated their draft class in terms of production and success, making it clear to the voting panel that they are the best of their year:

  • Ralph Sampson (1984)
  • David Robinson (1990)
  • Blake Griffin (2011)
  • Damian Lillard (2013)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (2016)

Have There Ever Been Joint Rookie of the Year Winners?

On three different occasions the NBA has named co-winners for the Rookie of the Year award. Rather than instituting some form of tiebreaker, the league decided to celebrate both players as winners of the award.

The joint winners of the Rookie of the Year trophy are:

  • Elton Brand and Steve Francis (2000)
  • Grant Hill and Jason Kidd (1995)
  • Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie (1971)

Has an International Player Ever Won Rookie of the Year?

The Rookie of the Year Award has been won by four international players; players who are not American by nationality or representation. Those players are:

  • Luka Doncic – Slovenia (2019)
  • Ben Simmons – Australia (2018)
  • Andrew Wiggins – Canada (2015)
  • Pau Gasol – Spain (2002)

Despite being American by nationality, there have been additional players who were born outside of the United States to have won Rookie of the Year. Patrick Ewing (2002) was born in Jamaica and Kyrie Irving was born in Australia, although both players own American nationality and have represented the United States Men’s National Team.

Which College Produces the Most Rookie of the Year Winners?

Without question, the NCAA owns the biggest talent pool for the NBA to recruit their next stars. While not representative of the program’s quality as a whole, these colleges have produced the most Rookie of the Year Winner’s in the NBA.

# of Winners College Players Year
5 North Carolina Vince Carter 1999
Michael Jordan 1985
Phil Ford 1979
Walter Davis 1978
Bob McAdoo 1973
3 California Jamaal Wilkes 1975
Sidney Wicks 1972
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1969
Duke Kyrie Irving 2012
Elton Brand 2000
Grant Hill 1995
Syracuse Michael Carter-Williams 2014
Derrick Coleman 1991
Dave Bing 1967
LSU Ben Simmons 2018
Shaquille O’Neal 1993
Bob Pettit 1955

Who Won the First NBA Rookie of the Year Award?

The inaugural winner of the Rookie of the Year Award was Don “Monk” Meineke of the Fort Wayne Pistons. A 6-7 power forward, Meineke averaged 10.7 points and 6.9 rebounds over 68 games played in his first NBA season.

Meineke also owns the dubious record of leading the league in personal fouls and disqualifications during his Rookie of the Year campaign. He recorded 334 personal fouls, 4.9 per game, over 68 games and was disqualified 26 times. Meineke still holds the NBA single-season record for disqualifications.

Which Position Wins the Most Rookie of the Year Awards?

Guard (28)

In a way, the Rookie of the Year is a contest where the criteria is player impact on the game. Of course, those who handle the ball the most tend to be very productive rookies.

Playmaking guards like Jason Kidd and Chris Paul draw the attention of Rookie of the Year voters like no other. But scoring is also one of the most direct ways to put yourself atop the Rookie of the Year race, just ask Allen Iverson or Kyrie Irving.

Forward (29)

The most versatile position in the NBA forwards have dominated the Rookie of the Year race due to their playability and immediate impact.

Whether you want paint-oriented scorers and defenders like Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol, or free-wheeling wing scorers and playmakers like Elgin Baylor and Larry Bird, forwards have historically been productive rookies.

Center (15)

While centers have dominated the Most Valuable Player rankings, they are the least successful Rookie of the Year winning group. Due to the competition at the center spot, rookie big men tend to take longer to settle into the NBA game.

Some centers enter the league and dominate from the jump, like Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But don’t count out the impact a defensive ace like Emeka Okafor and David Robinson can make, despite their age.

Who is the Youngest Ever NBA Rookie of the Year?

Inherently one of the younger players in the league, the Rookie of the Year is a competition amongst youth.

In order, the five youngest winners of the Rookie of the Year Award are:

Year Age Player Position Team D.O.B.
2021 19 LaMelo Ball Guard Charlotte Hornets 22 August, 2001
2019 19 Luka Doncic Guard Dallas Mavericks 28 February, 1999
2015 19 Andrew Wiggins Guard Minnesota Timberwolves 23 February, 1995
2012 19 Kyrie Irving Guard Cleveland Cavaliers 23 March, 1992
2008 19 Kevin Durant Forward Seattle Supersonics 29 September, 1988

Who is the Oldest Ever NBA Rookie of the Year?

Some players enter the league late, stay longer in college, or even have non-basketball commitments that result in a later NBA debut than most rookies.

In order, the five oldest winners of the Rookie of the Year Award are:

Year Age Player Position Team D.O.B
2017 24 Malcolm Brogdon Guard Milwaukee Bucks 11 December, 1992
1990 24 David Robinson Center San Antonio Spurs 6 August, 1965
1959 24 Elgin Baylor Forward Minneapolis Lakers 16 September, 1934
1991 23 Derrick Coleman Forward New Jersey Nets 21 June, 1967
1989 23 Mitch Richmond Guard Golden State Warriors 30 June, 1965

Which NBA Franchises Have Produced the Most NBA Rookie of the Year Winners?

Number of Awards Team Years
6 Golden State Warriors 1994, 1989, 1975

1966 (as San Francisco Warriors)

1960, 1958 (as Philadelphia Warriors)

5 LA Clippers 2011

1983 (as San Diego Clippers)

1977, 1974, 1973 (as Buffalo Braves)

Sacramento Kings 2010

1979 (as Kansas City Kings)

1964, 1961 (as Cincinnati Royals)

1956 (as Rochester Royals)

4 Portland Trail Blazers 2013, 2007, 1972, 1971
Washington Wizards 1969, 1968 (as Baltimore Bullets)

1963 (as Chicago Zephyrs)

1962 (as Chicago Packers)

3 Boston Celtics 1980, 1971, 1957
Charlotte Hornets 2021, 1992

2005 (as Charlotte Bobcats)

Chicago Bulls 2009, 2000, 1985
Detroit Pistons 1995, 1967

1953 (as Fort Wayne Pistons)

New York Knicks 1988, 1986, 1965
Philadelphia 76ers 2018, 2014, 1997
Phoenix Suns 2003, 1978, 1976
2 Brooklyn Nets 1991, 1982 (as New Jersey Nets)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2012, 2004
Dallas Mavericks 2019, 1995
Houston Rockets 2000, 1984
Memphis Grizzlies 2020, 2002
Milwaukee Bucks 2017, 1970
Minnesota Timberwolves 2016, 2015
Orlando Magic 2001, 1993
San Antonio Spurs 1998, 1990
Toronto Raptors 1999, 1996
1 Atlanta Hawks 1955 (as Milwaukee Hawks)
Baltimore Bullets (defunct) 1954
Indiana Pacers 1987
Los Angeles Lakers 1959 (as Minneapolis Lakers)
New Orleans Pelicans 2006 (as New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets)
Oklahoma City Thunder 2008 (as Seattle Supersonics)
Utah Jazz 1981

Which NBA Franchises Have Never Produced a Rookie of the Year?

There are just two teams in NBA history that have failed to produce a Rookie of the Year winner:

  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Miami Heat

Despite the lack of Rookie of the Year winners in the history of these franchises, it isn’t as if they’ve failed to produce some fantastic young talents. It seems like it’ll be just a matter of time before one of these teams pr

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Christian Jope

Expert on NBA

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

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