Sports
1.6k voters

All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked

Updated November 5, 2019 19.0k votes 1.6k voters 9.0k 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. 

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    892
    246

    Michael Jordan

    Shooting guard

    1984–85

    More Michael Jordan 

    Wild Stories And Rumors About Michael Jordan#346 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • 2
    646
    202

    1959–60

    More Wilt Chamberlain 

    18 Unbelievable But True Stories from the Buckwild Life of Wilt Chamberlain#154 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 3
    500
    152

    Tim Duncan

    Power forward

    1997–98

     

    More Tim Duncan 

    #6 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked#1 of 168 The Greatest Power Forwards in NBA History

  • 4
    577
    187

    Larry Bird

    Small forward

    1979–80

    More Larry Bird 

    #35 of 105 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans#10 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes

  • 5
    612
    212

    1992–93

     

    More Shaquille O'Neal 

    #1426 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time#81 of 217 Celebrities Who Should Run for President

  • 6
    797
    296

    LeBron James

    Power forward

    2003–04

    More LeBron James 

    The Best LeBron 16 Colorways, Ranked#246 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 7
    396
    127

    Oscar Robertson

    Point guard

    1960–61

    More Oscar Robertson 

    #7 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#3 of 25 The Best NBA Point Guards of the 1970s

  • 8
    494
    177

    Allen Iverson

    Point guard

    1996–97

     

    More Allen Iverson 

    #2 of 22 The Greatest Georgetown Basketball Players of All Time#4 of 120 The Fastest NBA Players of All Time

  • 9
    351
    126

    1989–90

    More David Robinson 

    #3 of 30 The Best NBA Centers of the '90s#25 of 116 The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Time

  • 10
    440
    180

    Kevin Durant

    Small forward

    2007–08

    More Kevin Durant 

    The Best KD 10 Colorways, Ranked#133 of 184 The Best Hot Ones Guests Ever

  • 11
    292
    119

    1985–86

    More Patrick Ewing 

    #76 of 100 The Best Current College Basketball Coaches#106 of 124 The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time

  • 12
    314
    133

    Vince Carter

    Small forward

    1998–99

    More Vince Carter 

    #1 of 26 The Best Dunkers In NBA History#53 of 85 Great Athletes Who Waited Too Long To Retire

  • 13
    508
    249

    Derrick Rose

    Point guard

    2008–09

    More Derrick Rose 

    #2 of 46 The Greatest Memphis Basketball Players of All Time#33 of 71 The Best Point Guards Currently in the NBA

  • 14
    311
    135

    Damian Lillard

    Point guard

    2012–13

    More Damian Lillard 

    #7 of 265 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today#6 of 103 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

  • 15
    288
    135

    Chris Paul

    Point guard

    2005–06

     

    More Chris Paul 

    The Coolest Chris Paul Signature Shoes, Ranked#284 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • 16
    214
    90

    Elgin Baylor

    Small forward

    1958–59

    More Elgin Baylor 

    #191 of 269 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#7 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

  • 17
    279
    134

    Lew Alcindor

    1969–70

     

  • 18
    240
    123

    Jason Kidd

    Point guard

    1994–95

    More Jason Kidd 

    #8 of 27 The Best '90s Point Guards#41 of 66 The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History

  • 19
    367
    214

    Kyrie Irving

    Point guard

    2011–12

    More Kyrie Irving 

    The Best Kyrie 4 Colorways, Ranked#428 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • 20
    194
    93

    Chris Webber

    Power forward, Center

    1993–94

    More Chris Webber 

    #1 of 46 The Greatest Michigan Basketball Players of All Time#28 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time

  • 21
    209
    105

    Grant Hill

    Small forward

    1994–95

    More Grant Hill 

    #43 of 71 Mormon Politicians#2 of 76 The Greatest Duke Basketball Players of All Time

  • 22
    209
    125

    Blake Griffin

    Power forward

    2010–11

    More Blake Griffin 

    The Best Blake Griffin Dunks#231 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked

  • 23
    136
    73

    Rick Barry

    Small forward

    1965–66

     

    More Rick Barry 

    #136 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#3 of 23 The Best Small Forwards of the 60s

  • 24
    174
    106

    Pau Gasol

    Power forward, Center

    2001–02

    More Pau Gasol 

    #33 of 54 The Most Hated Active NBA Players#24 of 73 The Greatest Chicago Bulls of All Time

  • 25
    140
    80

    Bob Pettit

    Power forward

    1954–55

    More Bob Pettit 

    #19 of 232 The Best White Players in NBA History#3 of 59 The Greatest LSU Basketball Players of All Time