Since the 2022 NBA Draft is closed, the talk around the NBA Rookie 2023 award is heating up. Fifty-eight players will have the chance to show their skills on the biggest stage, and we are excited to see top talents performing in the NBA. From the top of the draft Paolo Banchero, Chet Holgren, and Jabari Smith to prospects like Keegan Murray and TyTy Washington Jr. who showed out in the Summer League.
We had the opportunity to have a sneak peek during the Summer League, and after analyzing the draft, we came up with a list of the hottest candidates for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Jabari Smith, Houston Rockets, Forward
The Rockets need an infusion of talent, and Jabari Smith is the guy that should boost their shooting. His college stats are pretty impressive, as this 6-foot-10 forward scores 16.9 points per game, hitting 42% of his three-pointer attempts and having a 43% shooting percentage overall. He has the potential to be a cornerstone player for Houston after being consistent for the Tigers. If you think Smith could win the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, online sports betting in the Philippines provide safe options for placing your wagers. He is one of the hottest early candidates for the award.
Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Forward
The number 1 pick of this year’s NBA Draft definitely needs to be considered a strong candidate for the ROY Award. As a freshman, he led Duke to the Final 4, and many experts say he’s the most NBA-ready prospect. It is not strange when you see him play. Banchero can score in many different ways, and he averaged 17.2 pts per game last season. This player ticks all the boxes and has preconditions to become an NBA star. Of course, much work is still ahead of him, but he could easily become a top-scoring option for the Magic this year.
Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons, Guard
Ivey has improved his game significantly as a sophomore at the Boilermakers. He boosted all stats categories, scoring 17.3 points per match and hitting 46% of his overall attempts. His athletism allows him to blow past defenders, while his outside and mid-range shooting adds another dimension to his offensive arsenal. If the Pistons use Jaden regularly during the campaign, he might be a very hot candidate for the Rookie award.
Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder, Forward/Center
Despite being 7-foot tall, Holmgren has the ability to score from all positions. He converted 61% of his shots last season, while 39 percent of his three-pointer attempts were successful. Chet’s overall game can easily make him a strong contender for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The only question remains if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would take some scoring opportunities away from him. Holmgren was close to ending the last season with a double-double, scoring 14.1 pts and 9.9 rebounds per game.
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings, Forward
Murray was the leading Hawkeyes player last season and was the best college player. He has enough experience for the NBA stage and should make an immediate contribution to the Kings. This 6-foot-8 forward averaged 23.5 pts per game last season, with an excellent 55% field-goal percentage, hitting 40% of his three-pointer attempts. As a sophomore for the Hawkeyes, he managed to produce 20+ points on 26 occasions last season, which is a great achievement. On the other hand, his presence on defense is also impactful, and this versatile player can bring a lot to Sacramento.
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers
Mathurin enjoyed a big improvement over the past two seasons at the Wildcats. His transition to the NBA could be easier thanks to this development, and Bennedict could be one of the key players for the Pacers this season. Since Indiana is in the process of rebuilding the team, Mathurin could impose himself as a go-to scorer. Mathurin averaged 17.7 pts and 5.6 rebounds per game last season, having a 45% field-goal percentage. The numbers are getting even better when we take into consideration the final 15 games of the previous campaign.
Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs, Wing
Branham could be a lottery pick for the Spurs this season since he is a great pull-up shooter. We don’t see that ability so much in today’s game, which could bring an edge to San Antonio. This 6-foot-5 wing has a similar playing style as DeMar DeRozan, and he can build a scoring opportunity from a dribble. Malaki Branham could be a decent candidate for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, but that will heavily depend on his playing time. The Spurs are currently overloaded at that position, and it would be up to Brahnam to fight for as many minutes on the court as possible.
TyTy Washington, Houston Rockets, Guard
Quickness off the dribble is Washington’s great advantage, which he should aim to exploit in his first NBA season. It should be an excellent starting point for making an immediate impact on the biggest stage. Since the Rockets are rebuilding their team, we expect to see TyTy Washington in action frequently. Last season, he produced 12.5 points per game on average, with a 45% field-goal percentage and a 35% success rate from the three-pointer area.
Ochai Agbaji, Cleveland Cavaliers, Guard
Agbaji heads to the NBA with a significant experience playing with the Jayhawks. His three-point shooting ability could be his strongest weapon, and during the last season, he scored 41% of his attempts behind the arc. Ochai could be an impactful performer for the Cavaliers, and he could get a solid amount of playing time if Collin Sexton leaves the team. Agbaji averaged 18.8 pts last season, followed by a 48% field-goal percentage. He has the potential to win the award; however, it will depend a lot on his playing time.
Johnny Davis, Washington Wizards, Guard
Davis is already a pro-ready prospect, thanks to his two good seasons at Wisconsin. He has gone through a path from a small role to the team leader pretty quickly, especially after a big improvement in his game as a sophomore. The Wizards’ pick scored 19.7 points per game, followed by 8.2 rebs last season, but he should work on improving his three-pointer shooting. It was the major issue in Davis’ game, as he had a 31% success rate. Again, playing time will impact his candidacy to be considered for the 2023 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
It will be another exciting NBA season, and a lot of talent is yet to be discovered on the biggest stage. At the moment, these prospects showed the most promising skills to be considered for the ROY award.
However, the campaign is very long, and they need to be consistent in producing good games to raise their teams and careers to another level.