Photo: San Antonio Spurs/Twitter

My 2023 Rookie of the Year & All-Rookie Team picks.

Rookie of the Year 

Paolo Banchero- Orlando Magic

Notes: Banchero looked like the Rookie of the Year all season, as he went up against different defensive coverages that no other rookie came close to seeing (20.0 PPG/3.7 APG). He also rebounded the ball at a high level (6.9 RPG) and defended guards, forwards, and centers. His shooting numbers were probably the one area that wasn’t Rookie of the Year worthy (42.7% FG/29.8% 3-PT), but when you’re facing defenses designed for an All-Star in year one, those percentages don’t really matter to me as much.

All-Rookie First Team

Paolo Banchero- Orlando Magic

Jalen Williams- Oklahoma City Thunder

Walker Kessler- Utah Jazz

Bennedict Mathurin- Indiana Pacers

Keegan Murray- Sacramento Kings

Notes: Banchero, Williams, Kessler, and Mathurin should without a doubt be All-Rookie First Team members, as they had many nights where I said to myself, ‘These guys are the real deal.’ The four showed off natural ability that you can’t teach on both ends, making winning play after winning play. As for my 5th selection, Keegan Murray, this was a tough call, but efficiency won out on this one. There were certainly a lot of games where Jaden Ivey looked like an All-Rookie First Team guy, but he could never fix his field goal percentage (41.6% FG) and turnover issue (237 turnovers) enough for me to make First Team while Murray stayed consistent throughout the year (broke the rookie 3-point record with 206 threes/shot 41.1% from deep/took on the challenge of defending star players).

All-Rookie Second Team

Jaden Ivey- Detroit Pistons

Jeremy Sochan- San Antonio Spurs

Jabari Smith Jr.- Houston Rockets

Jalen Duren- Detroit Pistons

Tari Eason- Houston Rockets

Notes: I think all five of these versatile rookies should be locks to make Second Team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard takes one of the last spots. It’s probably going to be a close vote between Eason and Nembhard, but I personally believe Eason had a more productive all around season. Nembhard was the better playmaker/passer (4.5 APG vs. 1.1 APG). However other than that, they basically averaged the same scoring numbers (9.5 PPG vs. 9.3 PPG) while Eason outrebounded Nembhard (6.0 RPG vs. 2.7 RPG) and was the better defender (1.2 SPG vs. 0.9 SPG). Lastly, Eason had more double-doubles than Nembhard (7 vs. 5) and did it in far less minutes (21.5 MPG vs. 27.6 MPG).