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.
The winner is selected by a panel of United States and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters, 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.
The most recent Rookie of the Year winner is Ben Simmons. Twenty-one winners were drafted first overall. There has only been one winner taken in the second round of the draft, Malcolm Brogdon, who was taken 36th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2016 draft. Sixteen winners have also won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in their careers; Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld earning both honors the same season. Nineteen of the forty two 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. 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.
Patrick Ewing of Jamaica, Pau Gasol of Spain, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons of Australia and Andrew Wiggins of Canada 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 is the only winner trained totally outside the U.S.
|^||Denotes player who is still active in the NBA|
|*||Elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame|
|Denotes unanimous winners|
|DP #||Draft pick number|
Prior to the 1952–53 season, the Rookie of the Year was selected by newspaper writers; 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.
|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|
- National Basketball Association portal
- NBA Development League Rookie of the Year Award
- NBA Rookie of the Month Award
- Won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in same year.
- 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.
- Denotes seasons in which joint winners were named
- 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.
- Patrick Ewing was born in Jamaica, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while playing college basketball at Georgetown. He represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
- 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. His rookie season with the Spurs began in the 1989–90 season.
- Because Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands, he was able to play for the U.S. internationally. He represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics
- 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.
- Karl-Anthony Towns was born and raised in the United States to an American father and a Dominican mother. He has represented the Dominican Republic internationally since 2012.
- 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.
- "Wolves' Towns named 2015-16 Kia Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. May 16, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Trail Blazers' Brandon Roy Named 2006-07 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. May 3, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2008.
- "Brand, Francis named NBA co-rookies of the year". CBC Sports. November 10, 2000. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- "It's unanimous: Karl-Anthony Towns gets every first-place vote for Rookie of the Year". StarTribune.com. Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- "Bargnani becomes first European top NBA draft pick". People's Daily Online. June 29, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- "Jerry Lucas Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- "Larry Bird Bio". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- 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.
- "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: E". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2008.
- Dave Anderson (May 18, 1987). "Sports of the Times; The Robinson Plot Thickens". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- "David Robinson". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
- "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- "All-Time USA Basketball Men's Roster: D". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2008.
- "Griffin's rookie season lost to injury". ESPN.com. January 13, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
- Zgoda, Jerry (June 26, 2015). "Karl-Anthony Towns taken No.1 by Wolves; Tyus Jones acquired in trade with Cavaliers". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Calipari makes Dominican team roster cuts". WKYT. June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Philadelphia 76ers announce Ben Simmons done for season". NBA.com. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
- Friedman, David (March 2, 2009). "Bill Tosheff: NBA Co-Rookie of the Year and Tireless Advocate for the "Pre-1965ers". 20 Second Timeout. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Goldstein, Allan (October 30, 1994). "NBA forgot it honored Hoffman". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Sachare, Alex (1994). The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. New York: Villard Books. p. 371. ISBN 978-0-679-43293-7.