Sports

All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked  

Ranker NBA
11.5k votes 1.1k voters 5.6k views 69 items

List Rules Vote 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. 

list ordered by
1
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Shooting guard, Small forward

1984–85

2
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Center

1959–60

3
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Small forward, Power forward

2003–04

4
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Small forward, Power forward

1979–80

5
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Center

1992–93

 

6
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Power forward, Center

1997–98

 

7
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard, Shooting guard

1996–97

 

8
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Small forward

2007–08

9
Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard, Shooting guard

1960–61

10
Derrick Rose is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

2008–09

11
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Center

1989–90

12
Kyrie Irving is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

2011–12

13
Vince Carter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Shooting guard, Small forward

1998–99

14
Damian Lillard is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

2012–13

15
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Center

1985–86

16
Chris Paul is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

2005–06

 

17
Jason Kidd is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

1994–95

18
Grant Hill is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Small forward

1994–95

19
Lew Alcindor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Lew Alcindor

1969–70

 

20
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Small forward

1958–59

21
Blake Griffin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Power forward

2010–11

22
Chris Webber is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Power forward, Center

1993–94

23
Karl-Anthony Towns is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Center

2015–16

24
Ben Simmons is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Point guard

2017-18

25
Pau Gasol is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list All NBA Rookie Of The Year Award Winners, Ranked
Power forward, Center

2001–02