Victor Wembanyama Could Set NBA Rookie Usage Rate Record Since 1967-68

San Antonio Spurs forward/center Victor Wembanyama is on track for the highest usage percentage by an NBA rookie since the 1967-68 season, with a current usage percentage of 31.6%.
‣ Wembanyama is also the odds-on favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year, according to multiple NBA betting sites.
‣ Wembanyama became the youngest Spurs player to record a triple-double, and logged his first triple-double in the second-fewest minutes in the shot clock era.

Details

Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs forward/center, is making some noise in the NBA. He’s currently on track to have the highest usage percentage by an NBA rookie since the 1967-68 season. That’s based on a minimum of 1,000 minutes played.

His usage percentage is at 31.6%. That puts him seventh, behind Joel Embiid (39%), Luka Doncic (36.3%), Giannis Antetokounmpo (33.4%), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (32.6%), Donovan Mitchell (32%), and Anthony Edwards (31.8%).

Comparing rookie seasons, Wembanyama is leading the pack. Doncic’s rookie 2018-19 season (30.5%) is second. That’s followed by Ben Gordon (30.4% in 2004-05), Mark Aguirre (29.8% in 1981-82), and Michael Jordan (29.8% in 1984-85).

According to multiple NBA betting sites, Wembanyama is the top pick to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Chet Holmgren and Jaime Jaquez Jr. are still in the running, though, according to the sportsbooks.

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers guard, holds the all-time NBA record for highest usage percentage in a season. He hit 41.6% in the 2016-17 campaign. James Harden (40.4% in 2018-19) is second on the list, followed by Embiid (38.9% in 2023-24), Antetokounmpo (38.7% in 2022-23), and Kobe Bryant (38.7% in 2005-06).

Wembanyama is also making waves with his triple-doubles. Through 37 career starts, he’s averaging 20.3 points, 10 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and an NBA-leading 3.2 blocks. He’s also on the court for 28.5 minutes per game.

The 7-foot-4 big man ranks 15th in total rebounds (370), 12th in defensive rebounds (291), second in blocks (117), 19th in defensive box plus/minus (1.9), 10th in defensive rating (109.3%), fourth in defensive rebound percentage (30.2%), and second in block percentage (9.6%).

In a game against the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 10, Wembanyama became the youngest Spurs player to record a triple-double. He was just 20 years and six days old. In that game, he scored 16 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out a season-high 10 assists in 21:02 played.

That 21:02 is the second-fewest minutes in a triple-double performance in the shot clock era (since 1954-55). Westbrook played 20:17 and recorded a triple-double with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Last season, Tre Jones set the previous Spurs record at 23 years and 84 days old. In a 142-134 victory against the Sacramento Kings on April 2, 2023, Jones notched 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in 33 minutes of action.

Other young Spurs players to post a triple-double in franchise history include Alvin Robertson (23 years, 123 days old), Tim Duncan (23 years, 335 days old), Larry Kenon (24 years, 13 days old), Johnny Moore (24 years, 21 days old), Dejounte Murray (24 years, 98 days old), and David Robinson (24 years, 180 days old).

Wembanyama also became the second Spurs rookie to post a triple-double in franchise history. He joined Robinson, who did it three times. He also became the fourth rookie to have a triple-double without a turnover, since individual turnovers were first tracked during the 1977-78 season. He joined Ben Simmons, Andre Iguodala, and Robinson in that club.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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