Victor Wembanyama unanimously voted NBA Rookie of the Year

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans

Chet Holmgren picked the wrong year to be an NBA rookie.

The Thunder big man played brilliantly and would have been voted Rookie of the Year most seasons — but this is not most seasons.

Victor Wembanyama is a phenomenon unto himself. After just one season, he has us thinking he will be the best player in the league in a handful of years and in the GOAT conversation after a dozen years or so. Those are unfairly high expectations, but that is what Wembanyama's play as a rookie has done to the league.

Wembanyama was unanimously voted the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Five players had previously been voted a unanimous Rookie of the Year: Ralph Sampson, David Robinson (another Spur), Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Holmgren came in second, with 98 of the 99 voters placing him there. The Hornets' Brandon Miller finished a distant third.

Wembanyama averaged 21.4 points and 10.6 rebounds a game, but more importantly he was a defensive force as well — he finished in the top three in Defensive Player of the Year voting as a rookie. Wembanyama started the season a bit slow — in large part because Gregg Popovich played him at the four next to Zach Collins, and because of the Jeremy Sochan at point guard experiment. However, Wembanyama found his comfort level with the game as the season wore on.

Holmgren can find consolation in the fact he is still playing — he is the starting center on a Thunder team that will open its Western Conference Semi-Finals series against Dallas on Thursday night. Holmgren's pick-and-pop shooting and his rim protection in the paint are going to play a big role in that series.

Early in the season it looked like Miami's Jaime Jaquez Jr. would finish third in the voting (he was fourth), but his 3-point shooting and game tailed off the second half of the season. Meanwhile, while few fans were watching Charlotte, Brandon Miller found a groove and showed why he deserved to be the No. 2 pick last June. By the end of the season, Miller deserved that No. 3 spot. The Mavericks' Derrek Lively II and the Warriors' Brandin Podziemski also got some third-place votes.