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All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

Updated November 5, 2019 18.9k votes 1.6k voters 9.1k views69 items

List RulesVote up the ROTY winners based on their overall NBA careers.

Of all the NBA Rookie of the Year winners, there has to be a single best. Sure, each and every winner of the sought-after award can be considered the best in their own right, even if it's just for their rookie season, but how do they all stand up against each other? Year after year, we see the top rookies fight for the title, whether that's by being a leading point scorer or a powerhouse on defense (or both). But do they get better each year? Does the ROTY from 50 years ago compare to any of the top current NBA players? That's up to you fans to decide. 

From first winner Don Meineke in 1953 to 2017 ROTY Malcolm Brogdon, who are the best NBA Rookie of the Year winners? While Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have proved themselves far past rookies, you still have to consider other all-time NBA greats who won the award, such as Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain—lest we forget the GOAT Michael Jordan. Clearly, determining the best ROTY of all time is certainly no easy decision. 

Nevertheless, here's a list of NBA Rookie of the Year award winners, ready to be ranked by you. Vote up the best players and keep in mind, someone is going to take the last spot as the worst ROTY, so vote accordingly. 

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  • 26
    125
    67

    Bob McAdoo

    Power forward, Center

    1972–73

    More Bob McAdoo 

    #4 of 51 The Greatest UNC Tar Heels Basketball Players of All Time#14 of 53 The Best NBA Players Who Played Overseas

  • 27
    167
    116

    Karl-Anthony Towns

    Center

    2015–16

    More 

    #3 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time#6 of 67 The Best NBA Centers Right Now

  • 28
    104
    60

    Willis Reed

    Power forward, Center

    1964–65

    More Willis Reed 

    #67 of 126 The Best NBA Buys for the Money#12 of 31 The Best Knicks Coaches of All Time, Ranked

  • 29
    100
    57

    1968–69

     

    More Wes Unseld 

    #62 of 78 The All Time Greatest NBA Coaches#17 of 23 The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s

  • 30
    121
    83

    Amar'e Stoudemire

    Power forward, Center

    2002–03

     

    More Amar'e Stoudemire 

    #41 of 70 The Greatest Jewish Athletes Of All Time#1 of 25 The Greatest Jewish NBA Players Of All Time

  • 31
    106
    68

    Larry Johnson

    Power forward

    1991–92

    More Larry Johnson 

    #27 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked#64 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

  • 32
    185
    146

    Ben Simmons

    Point guard

    2017-18

    More Ben Simmons 

    #14 of 264 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today#33 of 100 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • 33
    77
    52

    Earl Monroe

    Point guard

    1967–68

    More Earl Monroe 

    #105 of 120 The Fastest NBA Players of All Time#6 of 25 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 1970s

  • 34
    88
    64

    Mitch Richmond

    Shooting guard

    1988–89

    More Mitch Richmond 

    #16 of 32 The Best NBA Shooting Guards of the 90s#7 of 26 The Best NBA Shooting Guards of the 80s

  • 35
    81
    64

    1981–82

    More Ralph Sampson 

    #9 of 25 NBA Players Whose Careers Ended Too Soon#16 of 30 The Best NBA Centers of the '90s

  • 36
    78
    65

    Jerry Lucas

    Power forward, Center

    1963–64

    More Jerry Lucas 

    #2 of 33 The Greatest Ohio State Basketball Players of All Time#9 of 22 The Best NBA Centers of the 1960s

  • 37
    96
    89

    Brandon Roy

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    2006–07

    More Brandon Roy 

    #50 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#6 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

  • 38
    67
    57

    Dave Cowens

    Power forward, Center

    1970–71

    More Dave Cowens 

    #33 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time#187 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • 39
    61
    64

    Mark Jackson

    Point guard

    1987–88

    More Mark Jackson 

    #16 of 27 The Best '90s Point Guards#10 of 20 The Best 80s NBA Point Guards

  • 40
    52
    56

    Adrian Dantley

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    1976–77

    More Adrian Dantley 

    #836 of 1,424 The Best Athletes Of All Time#77 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • 41
    63
    72

    Steve Francis

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    1999–00

    More Steve Francis 

    #70 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#52 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

  • 42
    56
    67

    Elton Brand

    Power forward

    1999–00

    More Elton Brand 

    #10 of 76 The Greatest Duke Basketball Players of All Time#30 of 73 The Greatest Chicago Bulls of All Time

  • 43
    78
    100

    Malcolm Brogdon

    Point guard

    2016–17

    More 

    #18 of 72 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA#6 of 71 The Best Sleeper Picks For Your Fantasy Basketball Team In 2019-2020

  • 44
    50
    65

    1956–57

    More Tom Heinsohn 

    #150 of 269 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#16 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

  • 45
    39
    52

    Jamaal Wilkes

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    1974–75

    More Jamaal Wilkes 

    #6 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time#11 of 23 The Best Power Forwards of the '70s

  • 46
    41
    57

    Dave Bing

    Point guard

    1966–67

    More Dave Bing 

    #14 of 22 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 60s#4 of 67 The Best NBA Players from Washington, D.C.

  • 47
    43
    61

    Terry Cummings

    Power forward

    1982–83

    More Terry Cummings 

    #57 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History#10 of 25 The Best Power Forwards of the 80s

  • 48
    63
    90

    Tyreke Evans

    Shooting guard, Small forward

    2009–10

  • 49
    42
    60

    Damon Stoudamire

    Point guard

    1995–96

     

  • 50
    73
    105

    Andrew Wiggins

    Small Forward

    2014–15

     

    More Andrew Wiggins 

    #9 of 92 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time#18 of 49 The Greatest Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Players of All Time