The 16 Best Rookie Seasons in NBA History

The top performing players in their first year in the NBA

(Via Hannah Scherwatzky / Getty Images))

Throughout the course of its history, there have been some incredible draft picks who came flying out of the gates... but who had the best best rookie seasons in NBA history? Let's talk about it!

Related: The 12 Best NBA Draft Classes, Ranked

The NBA may tip-off their regular season in October, but the real mark of a new league year is the annual draft in June. Tanking franchises look to recover from a dismal season by adding a potentially generational talent. We have seen teams add a single player in the draft and turn into championship contenders almost overnight.

Here are the 16 best rookies seasons in NBA history.

16. Tim Duncan 1997-98

15.) Blake Griffin 2010-11

14.) Elvin Hayes 1968-69

13.) Wes Unseld 1968-69

12.) Luka Doncic 2018-19

11.) Shaquille O'Neal 1992-93

10.) David Robinson 1989-90

9.) LeBron James 2003-04

8.) Magic Johnson 1979-80

7.) Larry Bird 1979-80

6.) Elgin Baylor 1958-59

5.) Michael Jordan 1984-85

4.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1969-70

3.) Walt Bellamy 1961-62

2.) Oscar Robertson 1960-61

1.) Wilt Chamberlain 1959-60

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Thumbs Down