NBA Rookie of the Year Award

The National Basketball Association's Rookie of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to the top rookie(s) of the regular season. Initiated following the 1952–53 NBA season, it confers the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, named after the former Philadelphia Warriors head coach.

National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year Award (ROY)
LeagueNational Basketball Association
Awarded forBest first year player in regular season of the National Basketball Association
First award1952–53
Most recentLaMelo Ball
Charlotte Hornets

The winner is selected by a panel of United States and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters,[1] each casting first-, second-, and third-place votes (worth five points, three points, and one point, respectively). The player(s) with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.[2]

The most recent Rookie of the Year winner is LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets. Twenty-one winners were drafted first overall. Sixteen winners have also won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in their careers with Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld earning both honors the same season. Thirty of the non-active winners have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Three seasons had joint winners—Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie in the 1970–71 season, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in the 1994–95 season, and Elton Brand and Steve Francis in the 1999–2000 season.[3] Five players won the award unanimously (by capturing all of the first-place votes)—Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard, and Karl-Anthony Towns.[4]

Patrick Ewing of Jamaica,[5] Pau Gasol of Spain, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons of Australia, Andrew Wiggins of Canada, and Luka Dončić of Slovenia are the only winners not born in the United States. Three of these individuals have dual nationality by birth—Wiggins and Simmons have American fathers, and both of Irving's parents are Americans. Ewing immigrated to the Boston area at age 11, Irving moved to the United States at age 2, and Wiggins and Simmons moved to the U.S. while in high school. Gasol and Dončić are the only winners trained entirely outside the United States.

Chamberlain (Harlem Globetrotters), Gasol (FC Barcelona of Liga ACB and EuroLeague), Dončić (Real Madrid of Liga ACB and EuroLeague), and Ball (BC Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League, the Los Angeles Ballers of the JBA, and the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL) all had professional careers outside the NBA prior to being drafted. Ball also had previously won the NBL Rookie of the Year Award.


Larry Bird won the award in the 1979–80 NBA season.
Michael Jordan won the award in the 1984–85 NBA season.
Allen Iverson won the award in the 1996–97 NBA season.
Pau Gasol won the award in the 2001–02 NBA season.
LeBron James won the award in the 2003–04 NBA season.
Kevin Durant won the award in the 2007–08 NBA season.
Derrick Rose won the award in the 2008–09 NBA season.
Luka Dončić won the award in the 2018–19 NBA season.
^ Denotes player who is still active in the NBA
* Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as player
  Denotes unanimous winners
DP # Draft pick number
DY Draft year
T Territorial pick
Rookie of the Year
Season Player Position Nationality Team School/Prior Experience DP # DY
1952–53 Don Meineke Forward/Center   United States Fort Wayne Pistons Dayton 12 1952
1953–54 Ray Felix Center   United States Baltimore Bullets Long Island 1 1953
1954–55 Bob Pettit* Forward/Center   United States Milwaukee Hawks LSU 2 1954
1955–56 Maurice Stokes* Forward/Center   United States Rochester Royals Saint Francis (PA) 2 1955
1956–57 Tom Heinsohn* Forward   United States Boston Celtics Holy Cross T 1956
1957–58 Woody Sauldsberry Forward/Center   United States Philadelphia Warriors Texas Southern 60 1957
1958–59 Elgin Baylor* Forward   United States Minneapolis Lakers Seattle 1 1958
1959–60 Wilt Chamberlain*[a] Center   United States Philadelphia Warriors (2) Kansas, Harlem Globetrotters T 1959
1960–61 Oscar Robertson* Guard   United States Cincinnati Royals (2) Cincinnati 1/T 1960
1961–62 Walt Bellamy* Center   United States Chicago Packers (2) Indiana 1 1961
1962–63 Terry Dischinger Forward/Guard   United States Chicago Zephyrs (3) Purdue 8 1962
1963–64 Jerry Lucas*[b] Forward/Center   United States Cincinnati Royals (3) Ohio State T 1962[b]
1964–65 Willis Reed* Center/Forward   United States New York Knicks Grambling 8 1964
1965–66 Rick Barry* Forward   United States San Francisco Warriors (3) Miami (FL) 2 1965
1966–67 Dave Bing* Guard   United States Detroit Pistons (2) Syracuse 2 1966
1967–68 Earl Monroe* Guard   United States Baltimore Bullets (4) Winston-Salem State 2 1967
1968–69 Wes Unseld*[a] Center/Forward   United States Baltimore Bullets (5) Louisville 2 1968
1969–70 Lew Alcindor* Center   United States Milwaukee Bucks UCLA 1 1969
1970–71[c] Dave Cowens* Center/Forward   United States Boston Celtics (2) Florida State 4 1970
Geoff Petrie Guard   United States Portland Trail Blazers Princeton 8 1970
1971–72 Sidney Wicks Forward/Center   United States Portland Trail Blazers (2) UCLA 2 1971
1972–73 Bob McAdoo* Center/Forward   United States Buffalo Braves North Carolina (Jr.) 2 1972
1973–74 Ernie DiGregorio Guard   United States Buffalo Braves (2) Providence (Sr.) 3 1973
1974–75 Jamaal Wilkes* Forward/Guard   United States Golden State Warriors (4) UCLA (Sr.) 11 1974
1975–76 Alvan Adams Center/Forward   United States Phoenix Suns Oklahoma (Jr.) 4 1975
1976–77 Adrian Dantley* Forward/Guard   United States Buffalo Braves (3) Notre Dame (Jr.) 6 1976
1977–78 Walter Davis Guard/Forward   United States Phoenix Suns (2) North Carolina (Sr.) 5 1977
1978–79 Phil Ford Guard   United States Kansas City Kings (4) North Carolina (Sr.) 2 1978
1979–80 Larry Bird*[d] Forward   United States Boston Celtics (3) Indiana State (Jr.) 6 1978[d]
1980–81 Darrell Griffith Guard   United States Utah Jazz Louisville (Sr.) 2 1980
1981–82 Buck Williams Forward/Center   United States New Jersey Nets Maryland (Jr.) 3 1981
1982–83 Terry Cummings Forward   United States San Diego Clippers (4) DePaul (Jr.) 2 1982
1983–84 Ralph Sampson*  Center/Forward   United States Houston Rockets Virginia (Sr.) 1 1983
1984–85 Michael Jordan* Guard   United States Chicago Bulls North Carolina (Jr.) 3 1984
1985–86 Patrick Ewing* Center   United States[e] New York Knicks (2) Georgetown (Sr.) 1 1985
1986–87 Chuck Person Forward   United States Indiana Pacers Auburn (Sr.) 4 1986
1987–88 Mark Jackson Guard   United States New York Knicks (3) St. John's (Sr.) 18 1987
1988–89 Mitch Richmond* Guard   United States Golden State Warriors (5) Kansas State (Sr.) 5 1988
1989–90 David Robinson* [f] Center   United States San Antonio Spurs Navy (Sr.) 1 1987[f]
1990–91 Derrick Coleman Forward   United States New Jersey Nets (2) Syracuse (Sr.) 1 1990
1991–92 Larry Johnson Forward   United States Charlotte Hornets UNLV (Sr.) 1 1991
1992–93 Shaquille O'Neal* Center   United States Orlando Magic LSU (Jr.) 1 1992
1993–94 Chris Webber* Forward/Center   United States Golden State Warriors (6) Michigan (So.) 1 1993
1994–95[c] Grant Hill* Forward/Guard   United States Detroit Pistons (3) Duke (Sr.) 3 1994
Jason Kidd* Guard   United States Dallas Mavericks California (So.) 2 1994
1995–96 Damon Stoudamire Guard   United States Toronto Raptors Arizona (Sr.) 7 1995
1996–97 Allen Iverson* Guard   United States Philadelphia 76ers Georgetown (So.) 1 1996
1997–98 Tim Duncan* Forward/Center   United States[g] San Antonio Spurs (2) Wake Forest (Sr.) 1 1997
1998–99 Vince Carter Guard/Forward   United States Toronto Raptors (2) North Carolina (Jr.) 5 1998
1999–00[c] Elton Brand Forward   United States Chicago Bulls (2) Duke (So.) 1 1999
Steve Francis Guard   United States Houston Rockets (2) Maryland (Jr.) 2 1999
2000–01 Mike Miller Forward/Guard   United States Orlando Magic (2) Florida (So.) 5 2000
2001–02 Pau Gasol Forward/Center   Spain Memphis Grizzlies FC Barcelona (Spain) 3 2001
2002–03 Amar'e Stoudemire Forward/Center   United States Phoenix Suns (3) Cypress Creek HS (Orlando, Florida) 9 2002
2003–04 LeBron James^ Forward   United States Cleveland Cavaliers St. Vincent–St. Mary HS (Akron, Ohio) 1 2003
2004–05 Emeka Okafor Center/Forward   United States Charlotte Bobcats (2) Connecticut (Jr.) 2 2004
2005–06 Chris Paul^  Guard   United States New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets Wake Forest (So.) 4 2005
2006–07 Brandon Roy Guard   United States Portland Trail Blazers (3) Washington (Sr.) 6 2006
2007–08 Kevin Durant^ Forward   United States Seattle SuperSonics Texas (Fr.) 2 2007
2008–09 Derrick Rose^ Guard   United States Chicago Bulls (3) Memphis (Fr.) 1 2008
2009–10 Tyreke Evans Guard/Forward   United States Sacramento Kings (5) Memphis (Fr.) 4 2009
2010–11 Blake Griffin^ [h] Forward   United States Los Angeles Clippers (5) Oklahoma (So.) 1 2009[h]
2011–12 Kyrie Irving^ Guard   United States Cleveland Cavaliers (2) Duke (Fr.) 1 2011
2012–13 Damian Lillard^  Guard   United States Portland Trail Blazers (4) Weber St. (Jr.) 6 2012
2013–14 Michael Carter-Williams^ Guard   United States Philadelphia 76ers (2) Syracuse (So.) 11 2013
2014–15 Andrew Wiggins^ Forward/Guard   Canada Minnesota Timberwolves Kansas (Fr.) 1 2014
2015–16 Karl-Anthony Towns^  Center   Dominican Republic[i] Minnesota Timberwolves (2) Kentucky (Fr.) 1 2015
2016–17 Malcolm Brogdon^ Guard   United States Milwaukee Bucks (2) Virginia (Sr.) 36 2016
2017–18 Ben Simmons^ Forward/Guard   Australia Philadelphia 76ers (3) LSU (Fr.) 1 2016[j]
2018–19 Luka Dončić^ Guard/Forward   Slovenia Dallas Mavericks (2) Real Madrid (Spain) 3 2018
2019–20 Ja Morant^ Guard   United States Memphis Grizzlies (2) Murray State (So.) 2 2019
2020–21 LaMelo Ball^ Guard   United States Charlotte Hornets (3) BC Prienai, Los Angeles Ballers, Illawarra Hawks (Australia) 3 2020

Unofficial winnersEdit

Prior to the 1952–53 season, the Rookie of the Year was selected by newspaper writers;[18] however, the NBA does not officially recognize those players as winners. The league did publish the pre-1953 winners in their 1994–95 edition of the Official NBA Guide and the 1994 Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia, but those winners have not been listed in subsequent publications.[18][19][20]

Season Player Position Nationality Team DP # DY
1947–48 Paul Hoffman Guard/Forward   United States Baltimore Bullets 70 1947
1948–49 Howie Shannon Guard/Forward   United States Providence Steamrollers 1 1949
1949–50 Alex Groza Center   United States Indianapolis Olympians 2 1949
1950–51 Paul Arizin* Forward/Guard   United States Philadelphia Warriors T 1950
1951–52[c] Bill Tosheff Guard   United States Indianapolis Olympians 32 1951
Mel Hutchins Forward/Center   United States Milwaukee Hawks 2 1951


Awards Teams Players Years
6 Golden State Warriors / San Francisco Warriors / Philadelphia Warriors Woody Sauldsberry, Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, Mitch Richmond, Chris Webber 1958 (as Philadelphia), 1960 (as Philadelphia), 1966 (as San Francisco), 1975, 1989, 1994
5 Washington Wizards / Baltimore Bullets / Chicago Zephyrs / Chicago Packers Ray Felix, Walt Bellamy, Terry Dischinger, Earl Monroe, Wes Unseld 1954 (as Baltimore), 1962 (as Chicago Packers), 1963 (as Chicago Zephyrs), 1968 (as Baltimore), 1969 (as Baltimore)
Sacramento Kings / Kansas City Kings / Cincinnati Royals / Rochester Royals Maurice Stokes, Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Phil Ford, Tyreke Evans 1956 (as Rochester), 1961 (as Cincinnati), 1964 (as Cincinnati), 1979 (as Kansas City), 2010
Los Angeles Clippers / San Diego Clippers / Buffalo Braves Bob McAdoo, Ernie DiGregorio, Adrian Dantley, Terry Cummings, Blake Griffin 1973 (as Buffalo), 1974 (as Buffalo), 1977 (as Buffalo), 1983 (as San Diego), 2011
4 Portland Trail Blazers Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, Brandon Roy, Damian Lillard 1971, 1972, 2007, 2013
3 Detroit Pistons / Fort Wayne Pistons Don Meineke, Dave Bing, Grant Hill 1953 (as Fort Wayne), 1967, 1995
Boston Celtics Tom Heinsohn, Dave Cowens, Larry Bird 1957, 1971, 1980
New York Knicks Willis Reed, Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson 1965, 1986, 1988
Phoenix Suns Alvan Adams, Walter Davis, Amar'e Stoudemire 1976, 1978, 2003
Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan, Elton Brand, Derrick Rose 1985, 2000, 2009
Charlotte Hornets / Charlotte Bobcats Larry Johnson, Emeka Okafor, LaMelo Ball 1992, 2005 (as Charlotte Bobcats), 2021
Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson, Michael Carter-Williams, Ben Simmons 1997, 2014, 2018
2 Milwaukee Bucks Lew Alcindor, Malcolm Brogdon 1970, 2017
Brooklyn Nets / New Jersey Nets Buck Williams, Derrick Coleman 1982 (as New Jersey), 1991 (as New Jersey)
Houston Rockets Ralph Sampson, Steve Francis 1984, 2000
San Antonio Spurs David Robinson, Tim Duncan 1990, 1998
Orlando Magic Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Miller 1993, 2001
Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd, Luka Dončić 1995, 2019
Toronto Raptors Damon Stoudamire, Vince Carter 1996, 1999
Memphis Grizzlies Pau Gasol, Ja Morant 2002, 2020
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James, Kyrie Irving 2004, 2012
Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns 2015, 2016
1 Atlanta Hawks / Milwaukee Hawks Bob Pettit 1955 (as Milwaukee)
Los Angeles Lakers / Minneapolis Lakers Elgin Baylor 1959 (as Minneapolis)
Utah Jazz Darrell Griffith 1981
Indiana Pacers Chuck Person 1987
New Orleans Pelicans / Oklahoma City Hornets Chris Paul 2006 (as New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets)
Oklahoma City Thunder / Seattle SuperSonics Kevin Durant 2008 (as Seattle)
0 Miami Heat None
Denver Nuggets

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in same year.
  2. ^ a b Though drafted in 1962 by the Cincinnati Royals, Jerry Lucas did not sign with the team until 1963 when he tried to sign with the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League instead. He ended up sitting out the year when the deal fell through. His rookie season with the Royals began in the 1963–64 season.[6]
  3. ^ a b c d Denotes seasons in which joint winners were named
  4. ^ a b Though drafted in 1978 by the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird, opted to stay in college for his senior year, did not play in the NBA until 1979. His rookie season with the Celtics began in the 1979–80 season.[7]
  5. ^ Patrick Ewing was born in Jamaica, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while playing college basketball at Georgetown.[8] He represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[9]
  6. ^ a b Though drafted in 1987 by the San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson did not play in the NBA until 1989 due to commitments to the United States Navy.[10] His rookie season with the Spurs began in the 1989–90 season.[11]
  7. ^ Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands,[12] he was able to play for the U.S. internationally. He represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics[13]
  8. ^ a b Though drafted in 2009 by the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin missed the entire 2009–10 season due to a knee injury. His rookie season with the Clippers was the 2010–11 season.[14]
  9. ^ Karl-Anthony Towns was born and raised in the United States to an American father and a Dominican mother.[15] He has represented the Dominican Republic internationally since 2012.[16]
  10. ^ Though drafted in 2016 by the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons missed the entire 2016–17 season due to his broken right foot. His rookie season with the Sixers was the 2017–18 season.[17]


  • "Rookie of the Year Award". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  • "Rookie of the Year Award Winners". Archived from the original on March 7, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  1. ^ "Wolves' Towns named 2015–16 Kia Rookie of the Year". May 16, 2016. Archived from the original on May 16, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Trail Blazers' Brandon Roy Named 2006-07 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 3, 2007. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2008.
  3. ^ "Brand, Francis named NBA co-rookies of the year". CBC Sports. November 10, 2000. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
  4. ^ "It's unanimous: Karl-Anthony Towns gets every first-place vote for Rookie of the Year". Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Bargnani becomes first European top NBA draft pick". People's Daily Online. June 29, 2006. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  6. ^ "Jerry Lucas Bio". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
  7. ^ "Larry Bird Bio". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Ralph Wiley (January 7, 1985). "The Master Of The Key: After years of relying on others to unlock doors for him, Georgetown's center Patrick Ewing will soon go off on his own". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  9. ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: E". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
  10. ^ Dave Anderson (May 18, 1987). "Sports of the Times; The Robinson Plot Thickens". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  11. ^ "David Robinson". Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
  12. ^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  13. ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
  14. ^ "Griffin's rookie season lost to injury". January 13, 2010. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  15. ^ Zgoda, Jerry (June 26, 2015). "Karl-Anthony Towns taken No.1 by Wolves; Tyus Jones acquired in trade with Cavaliers". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "Calipari makes Dominican team roster cuts". WKYT. June 16, 2012. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  17. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers announce Ben Simmons done for season". February 24, 2017. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Friedman, David (March 2, 2009). "Bill Tosheff: NBA Co-Rookie of the Year and Tireless Advocate for the "Pre-1965ers". 20 Second Timeout. Archived from the original on August 17, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Allan (October 30, 1994). "NBA forgot it honored Hoffman". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  20. ^ Sachare, Alex (1994). The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. New York: Villard Books. p. 371. ISBN 978-0-679-43293-7.