Victor Vector Week 18: Wembanyama vs. Holmgren is still a Rookie of the Year race for the ages


Welcome to the Victor Wembanyama experience. Come one, come all, for there is a 7-foot-4 Frenchman who can nutmeg you off the bounce, block your 3-pointers, step back from 3, put back his own stepback in two steps and dunk on you from a standstill outside the restricted area. Behold the human cheat code.

Here, we track the San Antonio Spurs rookie’s bi-weekly progress relative to the most anticipated prospects of the past 50 years, using Yahoo Sports’ own default fantasy basketball settings to rank their production.

But first a few words …

If you’ve followed all season, you know David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal have consistently led these rankings by a wide margin. Robinson entered the NBA at age 24, two years of military service removed from his Naval Academy graduation. O’Neal spent three seasons at LSU. Both were unlike anything we’ve seen before, as Wembanyama is today, only they were as physically imposing as anyone from the jump.

Yet, only Michael Jordan — you know, the greatest player in NBA history — stands between Wembanyama and those two rookie centers, and only by a hair. Wembanyama averaged 24.2 points (on 49/33/83 shooting splits), 11.2 rebounds, 5.6 blocks, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals in five games over the past two weeks, and he still has not played more than 32 minutes in an outing since early December. Over the weekend, he posted the first 5×5 stat line (27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks) since 2019 — in fewer minutes than and at the youngest age of anyone who has ever done it. Wembanyama’s averages per 36 minutes on the season are now up to 26.1 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.2 blocks and 1.6 steals. Ludicrous stuff.

Plus, the 20-year-old is only just discovering his physical power. He is everything we imagined he could be.

And you know what? Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren is not far behind. (He is behind, though. Since last we checked, Holmgren has fallen below Wembanyama on these rankings. The redshirt rookie’s odds to win Rookie of the Year have also dropped significantly behind Wembanyama.) Holmgren’s 2,195.6 Victor Vector points would place him sixth, behind Larry Bird — still pretty freaking phenomenal.

It is time to wonder if this is one of the greatest Rookie of the Year races ever. Bird vs. Magic was an all-timer, even if Bird won by a vote of 63-3. It was a given both were bound for greatness. Same can be said of Jordan vs. Hakeem Olajuwon. Those are the last two times pantheon-level players went 1-2 for the award.

I’m not saying Wembanyama and Holmgren are both on a path to the pantheon, but through 58 games …

Bird: 20.1 PTS (48/43/83), 10.5 REB, 4.4 AST, 1.9 STL, 0.7 BLK = 2,238.5 Victor Vector points
Magic: 18.4 PTS (54/14/81), 7.6 AST, 6.8 REB, 2.2 STL, 0.4 BLK = 1,913.25 Victor Vector points
TOTALS: 38.5 PTS (50/39/83), 17.3 REB, 12 AST, 4.1 STL, 1.1 BLK = 4,151.75 Victor Vector points

Jordan: 27.4 PTS (52/13/86), 6.4 REB, 5.5 AST, 2.4 STL, 0.9 BLK = 2,303.85 Victor Vector points
Hakeem: 20.9 PTS (55/0/61), 11.8 REB, 1.4 AST, 2.2 BLK, 1.2 STL = 2,076.7 Victor Vector points
TOTALS: 48.3 PTS (53/13/74), 18.2 REB, 6.9 AST, 3.6 STL, 3.1 BLK = 4,380.55 Victor Vector points

Wemby: 20.7 PTS (47/32/81), 10.1 REB, 3.3 AST, 3.3 BLK, 1.3 STL = 2,300.45 Victor Vector points
Chet: 17.1 PTS (54/40/77), 7.7 REB, 2.7 AST, 2.6 BLK, 0.7 STL = 2,195.6 Victor Vector points
TOTALS: 37.8 PTS (50/36/80), 17.8 REB, 6 AST, 5.9 BLK, 2 STL = 4,496.05 Victor Vector points

I’m just saying.

We will find out if it all comes out in the wash. That is what the tracker is for. Before we get started, a key:

  • Season averages: Points (FG%/3P%/FT%), rebounds, assists (turnovers), steals, blocks

  • Advanced: Player efficiency rating, true-shooting percentage, win shares per 48, box plus-minus

  • Through X games (record): Total PTS-REB-AST-STL-BLK, TO (FGA-FGM, 3PA-3PM, FTA-FTM)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week X): Default season settings

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Without further ado, the Victor Vector rankings: Week 1 (16th)Week 2 (6th)Week 3 (6th)Week 4 (5th)Week 5 (3rd)Week 6 (4th)Week 7 (4th)Week 8 (4th)Week 9 (5th)Week 10 (6th)Week 12 (4th) • • Week 14 (6th)Week 16 (6th) • Week 18 …

20. Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons

  • 1981-82 (72 games): 17 PTS (42/29/70), 7.8 AST (4.2 TO), 2.9 REB, 2.1 STL, 0.2 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 14.5 PER, 48.7 TS%, .046 WS/48, -0.8 BPM

  • Through 58 games (25-33): 805-141-371-101*-10*, 202* TO (296-714 FG, 6-38* 3P, 207-292 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,265.7

(*Some game-to-game statistics unavailable. Estimates based on season averages.)

19. Kevin Durant, Seattle SuperSonics

  • 2007-08 (80 games): 20.3 PTS (43/29/87), 4.4 REB, 2.4 AST (2.9 TO), 1.0 STL, 0.9 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 15.8 PER, 51.9 TS%, .040 WS/48, -0.1 BPM

  • Through 58 games (15-43): 1,081-231-127-56-57, 161 TO (381-954 FG, 50-176 3P, 269-310 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,296.2

18. Grant Hill, Detroit Pistons

  • 1994-95 (70 games): 19.9 PTS (48/15/73), 6.4 REB, 5 AST (2.9 TO), 1.8 STL, 0.9 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 19 PER, 54.1 TS%, .097 WS/48, 2.0 BPM

  • Through 58 games (22-36): 819-240-207-82-48, 119 TO (299-632 FG, 3-19 3P, 218-293 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,357.35

17. Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks

  • 1985-86 (50 games): 20 PTS (47/0/74), 9 REB, 2.1 BLK, 2.0 AST (3.4 TO), 1.1 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 17.4 PER, 52.6 TS%, .084 WS/48, 1.1 BPM

  • Through 58 games (19-39): 957-421-98-50-99, 156 TO (371-776 FG, 0-4 3P, 215-294 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,457.3

16. Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

  • 2002-03 (82 games): 13.5 PTS (50/50/81), 8.2 REB, 1.8 BLK, 1.7 AST (2.1 TO), 0.4 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 20.6 PER, 57.0 TS%, .176 WS/48, 2.2 BPM

  • Through 58 games (30-28): 793-477-96-16-107, 113 TO (286-551 FG, 0-1 3P, 221-274 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,500.55

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 23: Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs blocks a shot by LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of a game at Crypto.com Arena on February 23, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Wembanyama’s block on LeBron was part of an impressive 5×5 stat line from the rookie on Feb. 23. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

15. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • 2003-04 (79 games): 20.9 PTS (42/29/75), 5.9 AST (3.5 TO), 5.5 REB, 1.6 STL, 0.7 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 18.3 PER, 48.8 TS%, .078 WS/48, 1.7 BPM

  • Through 58 games (23-35): 1,124-314-314-81-41, 194 TO (429-1,051 FG, 46-165 3P, 220-288 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,737.05

14. Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers

  • 1996-97 (76 games): 23.5 PTS (42/34/70), 7.5 AST (4.4 TO), 4.1 REB, 2.1 STL, 0.3 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 18 PER, 51.3 TS%, .065 WS/48, 0.9 BPM

  • Through 58 games (15-43): 1,133-218-390-113-19, 233 TO (391-1,001 FG, 97-316 3P, 254-369 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,812.3

13. Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers

  • 1979-80 (77 games): 18 PTS (53/23/81), 7.7 REB, 7.3 AST, 2.4 STL (4.0 TO), 0.5 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 20.6 PER, 60.2 TS%, .180 WS/48, 4.8 BPM

  • Through 58 games (40-18): 977-344-401-119-22, 201 TO (353-660 FG, 2-14 3P, 269-327 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,913.25

12. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

  • 2005-06 (78 games): 16.1 PTS (43/28/85), 7.8 AST (2.3 TO), 5.1 REB, 2.2 STL, 0.1 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 22.1 PER, 54.6 TS%, .178 WS/48, 5.2 BPM

  • Through 58 games (31-27): 883-294-426-120-4, 134 TO (286-659 FG, 35-120 3P, 276-330 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 1,961.45

11. Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

  • 2018-19 (72 games): 21.2 PTS (43/33/71), 7.8 REB, 6 AST (3.4 TO), 1.1 STL, 0.3 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 19.6 PER, 54.5 TS%, .101 WS/48, 3.9 BPM

  • Through 58 games (26-32): 1,140-395-307-57-15, 178 TO (377-877 FG, 134-385 3P, 252-349 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,011.1

10. Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets

  • 1983-84 (82 games): 21 PTS (52/25/66), 11.1 REB, 2.4 BLK, 2 AST (3.6 TO), 0.9 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 20.1 PER, 55.1 TS%, .108 WS/48, 0.9 BPM

  • Through 58 games (23-35): 1,231-671-112-48-140, 208 TO (511-969 FG, 1-3 3P, 208-323 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,037.7

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9. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

  • 2010-11 (82 games): 22.5 PTS (51/29/64), 12.1 REB, 3.8 AST (2.7 TO), 0.8 STL, 0.5 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 21.9 PER, 54.9 TS%, .152 WS/48, 2.6 BPM

  • Through 58 games (21-37): 1,325-728-207-38-31, 161 TO (505-988 FG, 7-16 3P, 308-500 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,067.9

8. Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets

  • 1984-85 (82 games): 20.6 PTS (54/0/61), 11.9 REB, 2.7 BLK, 1.4 AST (2.9 TO), 1.2 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 21.1 PER, 56.4 TS%, .168 WS/48, 2.1 BPM

  • Through 58 games (34-24): 1,213-682-81-71-130, 173 TO (481-879 FG, 0-0 3P, 251-411 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,076.7

7. Dikembe Mutombo, Denver Nuggets

  • 1991-92 (71 games): 16.6 PTS (49/0/64), 12.3 REB, 3 BLK, 2 AST (3.5 TO), 0.6 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 16.5 PER, 54.0 TS%, .086 WS/48, 0.0 BPM

  • Through 58 games (20-38): 1,050-754-140-37-169, 209 TO (385-765 FG, 0-0 3P, 280-435 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,130.5

6. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

  • 1997-98 (82 games): 21.1 PTS (55/0/66), 11.9 REB, 2.7 AST (3.4 TO), 2.5 B LK, 0.7 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 22.6 PER, 57.7 TS%, .192 WS/48, 4.6 BPM

  • Through 58 games (40-18): 1,137-685-156-37-150, 187 TO (464-849 FG, 0-7 3P, 209-334 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,135.45

5. Larry Bird, Boston Celtics

  • 1979-80 (82 games): 21.3 PTS (47/41/84), 10.4 REB, 4.5 AST (3.2 TO), 1.7 STL, 0.6 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 20.5 PER, 53.8 TS%, .182 WS/48, 4.5 BPM

  • Through 58 games (44-14): 1,165-608-253-113-43, 194 TO (470-975 FG, 36-83 3P, 189-227 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,238.5

4. Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs

  • 2023-24 (52 games): 20.7 PTS (47/32/81), 10.1 REB, 3.3 AST (3.4 TO), 1.3 STL, 3.3 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 22.6 PER, 56.3 TS%, .067 WS/48, 3.8 BPM

  • Through 58 games (11-47): 1,074-525-171-67-171, 178 TO (394-844 FG, 82-258 3P, 204-251 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,300.45

3. Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

  • 1984-85 (82 games): 28.2 PTS (52/17/85), 6.5 REB, 5.9 AST (3.5 TO), 2.4 STL, 0.8 BLK

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 25.8 PER, 59.2 TS%, .213 WS/48, 7.3 BPM

  • Through 58 games (27-31): 1,590-369-319-137-55, 200 TO (588-1,132 FG, 4-30 3P, 410-479 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,303.85

2. Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando Magic

  • 1992-93 (81 games): 23.4 PTS (56/0/59), 13.9 REB, 3.5 BLK, 1.9 AST (3.8 TO), 0.7 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 22.9 PER, 58.4 TS%, .163 WS/48, 3.5 BPM

  • Through 58 games (29-29): 1,388-813-99-42-220, 226 TO (532-951 FG, 0-2 3P, 324-542 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,467.05

1. David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs

  • 1989-90 (82 games): 24.3 PTS (53/0/73), 12 REB, 3.9 BLK, 2.0 AST (3.1 TO), 1.7 STL

  • Advanced rookie statistics: 26.3 PER, 59.7 TS%, .241 WS/48, 6.9 BPM

  • Through 58 games (38-20): 1,385-687-123-95-218, 184 TO (470-885 FG, 0-0 3P, 445-604 FT)

  • Victor Vector Yahoo Fantasy points (through Week 18): 2,603.75





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