Friday, June 21 2024

Remember those rookie reports we delved into earlier this season? Well, it’s time to wrap it all up and unveil the All-Rookie First and Second Teams for 2023-24 fantasy basketball. Highlighted by Victor Wembanyama’s historic campaign, let’s catch up on the rookie sensations who made a splash in their debut year. I’ll also share where I’d consider drafting each rookie next season.

2023-24 Fantasy All-Rookie First Team

Victor Wembanyama – PF/C San Antonio Spurs

Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach kept NBA fans up-to-date on everything Wemby this season. If you followed along, he tracked Wemby’s production to some of the best rookie performances ever. Now that it’s all said and done, the French phenom finished with the second-most fantasy points in a season in the past 50 years (3,430.75).

Whether it was his near quadruple-doubles, the shamgods or Space Jam-like dunks, we’ve never seen a player do the type of things on a basketball court that Victor can.

To sum up, Wembanyama finished in the top 10 in points leagues per game and total value. He was the first rookie since Karl Anthony-Towns to finish in the top 12 in per-game and total value for nine-category formats.

There’s way too much potential for Wembanyama to go any lower than first overall in next season’s fantasy drafts, no matter the format.

Chet Holmgren – PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder

Despite being overshadowed by Wemby, Holmgren’s impact can’t be understated. He played in all 82 games while helping the Thunder land the top spot in the Western Conference. He offers so much versatility in the frontcourt for fantasy, and we’re just scratching the surface of what he can be.

He finished the season 25th in per-game value and eighth in total value for nine-category formats. When you combine his efficiency and defensive upside, I’ll select him as a late-first, early-second-round pick next season.

Brandon Miller – SG/SF, Charlotte Hornets

I was too low on Miller in the preseason, though I changed my tune when he earned 30 minutes a night from the onset. He has a similar bag to Paul George offensively, so I see value in drafting him in the mid-rounds next season. I’d like to see more defensively, but the efficiency splits and three-ball are already ahead of the curve. He led all rookies in three-pointers made per game (2.5) and hit the most threes by a rookie in Hornets franchise history (167).

Amen Thompson – PG/SG/SF, Houston Rockets

Thompson is the best athlete in this rookie class, and a case can be made for him being one of the best athletes in the league. At 6-foot-7, he finished the season with 13 double-doubles (third among rookies) and was the only rookie besides Wemby to register a triple-double.

Thompson has a great skill set for fantasy, especially on defense. With some offseason work on his shooting, the dynamic rookie could be even more profitable in Year 2. I view him as a late-round pick with upside next season, assuming he remains with the starting unit getting 30 minutes a night — which could be a challenge given Houston’s depth and cap flexibility.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. – SG/SF, Miami Heat

The Heat dealt with injuries all year, which helped Jaquez make more of an impact his rookie year than many anticipated. He played 75 games and was fantasy-relevant for most of the year thanks to averaging 12 points, four rebounds, three assists with a steal and a solid 49/32/81 shooting split. At 23, Jaquez will likely improve his accuracy from three, but his draft position next year is predicated on his role. If he continues to come off the bench, he’s less intriguing, but given the way the Heat tend to cruise through the regular season, I’d be OK with using a late-rounder on him.

Dereck Lively II – C, Dallas Mavericks

I went with Lively here because he finished inside the top 120 in nine-category formats on a per-game basis. Wemby, Holmgren and Miller were the only others who did so. However, Lively appeared in just 55 games this season, so fantasy managers will need him to be more available in the future. Still, he did his job as an effective rim runner and rim protector when he played and led the league in field-goal percentage. He’ll have a timeshare with Daniel Gafford next year, which should suppress his fantasy value, so Lively will be another late-round flier.

All-Rookie Second Team

  • Keyonte George – PG/SG, Utah Jazz

  • Scoot Henderson – PG, Portland Trail Blazers

  • Brandin Podziemski – SG, Golden State Warriors

  • G.G. Jackson – SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Trayce Jackson-Davis – PF/C, Golden State Warriors

Honorable mentions: Cam Whitmore and Ausar Thompson

Source: Yahoo Sports

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