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History of the Blazers: Rookie of the Year Award Winners

The Trail Blazers will celebrate their 50-year anniversary this season. Here is a look back at the players that secured the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award while donning black and red.

Brandon Roy Celebrates Winning Rookie Of The Year Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

This season, the Trail Blazers are set to unveil several festivities tied to the 50-year anniversary of the organization. To keep with that theme, we are taking a look back at Portland’s history with each league-wide award. Today’s focus looks at the players that earned the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award for their work in a Blazers uniform. Along with the winners, we take a brief look at the players who narrowly missed out on securing that honor.

The Winners

  • Geoff Petrie | G | Season: 1970-71*

*Tied with Dave Cowens for NBA Rookie of the Year honors

Petrie ushered in a new era of basketball in Portland by producing 24.8 points per game as a rookie. Along with his scoring, the former Princeton standout recorded 4.8 assists per game during the Blazers’ inaugural campaign. Petrie was a bright spot during a 29-win season.

  • Sidney Wicks | PF | Season: 1971-72

Wicks followed up Petrie’s first season by securing another ROY award for the Blazers. The former UCLA star averaged 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game as a rookie. As a team, the Blazers regressed to 18 wins in the 1971-72 season. Wicks’ rocky tenure with the Blazers came to a close prior to the start of the 1976-77 season.

  • Brandon Roy | G | Season: 2006-07

Roy’s ascension to Rip City royalty started with his stellar debut in the 2006-07 season. The 22-year-old former Huskies star averaged 16.8 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting from the field. Raptors big man Andrea Bargnani was the only other player to receive a first-place vote. Fellow Blazers rookie LaMarcus Aldridge finished at No. 7 in the voting, just behind Paul Millsap.

  • Damian Lillard | PG | Season: 2012-13

Before Lillard captured the attention of NBA fans with his late-game heroics, he made waves with his stellar rookie season. Lillard took the keys to coach Terry Stotts offense and produced 19 points per game in his first year. Lakers newcomer Anthony Davis landed at No. 2 after Lillard secured every first-place vote.

Just Short

  • Lloyd Neal | F/C | Season: 1972-73

Neal nearly made it three in a row for the Blazers with his work as a rookie in the 1972-73 season. He finished at No. 2 in the voting behind Bob McAdoo.

  • Kelvin Ransey | PG | Season: 1980-81

The Trail Blazers secured the rights to Ransey on the night of the 1980 NBA Draft. The former Ohio State standout finished just behind Jazz rookie Darrell Griffith. Ransey’s tenure with the Blazers ended after two seasons. Portland traded Ransey to the Dallas Mavericks for Wayne Cooper and a pick that was eventually used to select Terry Porter.

  • Arvydas Sabonis | C | Season: 1995-96

The big fella’s anticipated arrival to the NBA was rewarded with 17 first-place votes for ROY honors. Sabonis’ future teammate, Damon Stoudamire, took home the trophy for the 1995-96 season.