Lawrence, Chaska, MN
Subj: Feeling a draft
How many times has the top pick in the NBA draft won the rookie of the year award?
Superb question, Lawrence! It may surprise you to learn the first overall pick has won the award only 17 times in the 56 years the league has honored its Rookie of the Year. Although most of the winners have been top five picks, a number of ballers have come out of nowhere to capture the award including Mark Jackson, who was selected 18th overall in 1987, Jamaal Wilkes, who was taken with the 11th pick in 1974 and Terry Dischinger, who was snatched up 10th overall in 1962. However, I suspect those anomalies are things of the past. Today’s rigorous scouting methods as well as the NBA’s new age restriction make it unlikely we’ll ever see a low draft pick win the award again.