NBA scouts gushed about Victor Wembanyama, a 7-foot-4 huge man prospect from France. However followers caught their first actual glimpse of the long run #1 decide within the 2023 NBA Draft, and the 18-year-old child lived up to the hype throughout a pair of exhibition video games in Las Vegas.
Wembanyama performed along with his French skilled group, Metropolitan 92, in opposition to the Ignite of the NBA G-League. Wembanyama sizzled in his North American debut scoring 73 factors, 15 rebounds, and 9 blocks in two video games of motion. He knocked down 9-for-18 from 3-point vary and shot 50% total from the ground.
Wembanyama scored 37 factors in his debut on Tuesday, then added 36 factors in his second sport on Thursday.
He’s like an alien,” stated LeBron James. “I’ve by no means seen, ahh, nobody has ever seen anybody as tall as he’s, however as fluid and as sleek as he’s out on the ground. He’s for certain a generational expertise.”
With Wembanyama getting the stamp of approval from King James himself, as many as ten groups are possible hoping for an opportunity to show round their franchises with a “as soon as in a technology” participant like Wembanyama.
Finest Prospect Since…?
Scouts initially in contrast Wembanyama to Tim Duncan. However after the 2 video games in Las Vegas this week, Wembanyama seems like a hybrid of Duncan and Kevin Durant. He’s additionally a heck of a defender and shot blocker.
“He’s like Rudy Gobert on steroids,” stated Invoice Simmons on The Lowe Put up podcast.
Holy smokes, there aren’t any phrases for it,” stated Zach Lowe. “That’s why persons are saying ‘Alien’ to explain Wembanyama. The superlatives are inadequate.”
Simmons stated catching a glimpse of Wembanyama for the primary time is like watching considered one of LeBron James’ highschool video games. There has not been this a lot pleasure surrounding an adolescent since LeBron’s highschool years and additional again, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominating the New York Metropolis hoops scene at Energy Memorial Excessive Faculty.
Kristaps Porzingis earned the nickname “The Unicorn” as a result of he was a 7-foot-3 participant from Latvia with a lethal 3-point shot and nice ball-handling abilities. Nonetheless, scouts all agreed that Wembanyama is a far superior prospect. Heck, Wembanyama the Alien may be higher than Porzingis the Unicorn proper now.
“He has capacity to place the ball on the ground, shoot step-back jumpers out of the publish, step-back 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block photographs,” added LeBron.
Tanking for Wembanyama
As a lot because the NBA tried to penalize groups from tanking, with the highest three groups every getting a 14% probability at securing the #1 decide, it has not deterred groups.
Commissioner Adam Silver stated he hopes that groups will preserve their integrity and attempt to win video games regardless of the plain bounty awaiting the group that hit the lottery.
I do know that a lot of our NBA groups are salivating on the notion that probably via our lottery, they will get him, so they need to all nonetheless compete very laborious subsequent season,” stated Silver.
If they don’t seem to be preventing for a playoff spot late within the season, groups such because the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, and Sacramento Kings will probably be watched intently.
Gregg Popovich from the San Antonio Spurs coached Duncan and received a number of NBA titles with him, so he’d love so as to add the subsequent Duncan to his lackluster squad. Even groups that aren’t excessive on European prospects are giddy about Wembanyama.