Monday, 24 Jun 2024

Kia Rookie Ladder: Chet Holmgren, Victor Wembanyama Lead Strong Class into 2024

The NBA’s rookie class of 2024 is showcasing some promising talent. Players like Chet Holmgren from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Victor Wembanyama from the San Antonio Spurs have been making waves. But can we expect even more from them in the remaining months of the 2023-24 season? Let’s take a closer look at the statistics of past Kia Rookie of the Year winners to find out.

Improving Performance Over Time

When analyzing the stats of the NBA’s past 10 Rookie of the Year winners, a trend emerges. Six players increased their scoring averages, eight players grabbed more rebounds, and eight players dished out more assists after January 1st. This makes sense considering the learning curve rookies go through and the increased trust they receive from coaches and teammates as the season progresses.

For example, Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves saw a significant improvement in his performance from 2014 to 2015. His scoring average jumped from 13.1 points per game to 19.1 points per game. Wiggins also improved in other aspects of his game, including rebounding and passing. This improvement came as a result of his increased playing time and the trust his coach, Flip Saunders, had in him.

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Other Rookie of the Year winners, such as LaMelo Ball, Malcolm Brogdon, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Luka Doncic, also experienced similar improvements in their scoring, rebounding, and assists after the holidays.

Both Holmgren and Wembanyama, currently leading the Kia Rookie Ladder, believe they can perform even better. Their impressive performances so far indicate that they might be on an upward trajectory.

Weekly Recap: Impact on Winning and On/Off Rating

When considering the potential Rookie of the Year candidates, it’s important to take into account their impact on winning. The performance of rookies can significantly affect the success of their teams. For example, the Oklahoma City Thunder has won nine more games through 32 compared to the previous season, thanks in part to Holmgren’s contributions. On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs have experienced a drop in performance, losing five more games after 33.

In terms of on/off rating, Wembanyama holds an edge over Holmgren. When Wembanyama is on the floor, the Spurs have better defensive stats, but experience some struggles offensively. Conversely, Holmgren has a positive impact on the Thunder’s offense but faces some challenges on the defensive end.

Beware the Rookie Wall

March is often considered the month when rookies hit a wall, experiencing a drop in energy and focus. This can have a significant impact on their performance. While some may argue that this is a myth due to the year-round basketball they play, the workload and responsibilities of the NBA can take a toll on rookies. Nine rookies have already played 30 or more games, with some logging over 600 minutes in less than three months. This increased workload, coupled with travel and other responsibilities, can affect their production.

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It’s important to keep an eye on how rookies navigate this challenging period and adjust their game accordingly.


Q: How do past Rookie of the Year winners typically improve their performance over time?
A: Past Rookie of the Year winners have shown improvements in scoring, rebounding, and assists after the holidays. This can be attributed to their increased playing time and the trust they earn from their coaches and teammates.

Q: Can we expect Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama to perform even better in the coming months?
A: Based on their performances so far, Holmgren and Wembanyama have the potential to continue their upward trajectory. Both players have displayed impressive skills and show no sign of slowing down.


The 2024 NBA rookie class is filled with promising talent, including Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama. These rookies have the potential to improve their performance over time, as evidenced by past Rookie of the Year winners. However, it’s essential to consider the impact of rookies on winning and their ability to navigate the challenges they face throughout the season. As the season progresses, it will be exciting to see how these rookies continue to develop and contribute to their teams. For more information on the NBA and its players, visit the official website of