Without question, Victor Wembanyama is the next big thing coming to the NBA. And by big, we mean he stands 7-foot-4 and has the game of the guard.
Anyone who saw his performance against Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite on ESPN can attest. Wembanyama did it all and doesn’t really seem to have a weakness.
So this has NBA executives salivating, especially those who are entering the season with rebuilding and “tanking” for a lottery pick on their brain.
Wembanyama, 18, currently plays for Metropolitans 92 of the French pro league. Yes, he’s just 18.
“Victor distorts basketball reality,” on GM told Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. “The tank/trade market will really shift after that showing. It feels like last night will start a race to the bottom like we’ve never seen.”
Another GM compared Wembanyama to Kevin Durant. Only taller.
Several teams are already expected to be in tanking mode this season, giving them a shot at Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, or Henderson at No. 2. The season hasn’t even started, and that is how the draft is already supposed to go.
The Thunder, Pacers, Pistons, Spurs, Rockets and Jazz could all very well be in the running. And if they’re not yet, could make some trades and unload some current talent to get there.
That is just how good Wembanyama is expected to be. And most basketball executives can tell you he is worth fighting for. Or in this case, worth losing for.
If there’s anything NBA GMs have become very good at, it’s convincing the public of the idea that stinking is all part of some grand plan. In this instance, it is even true.
I already feel bad for NBA GM that strategically tanks away the season — and still winds up with No. 3 overall pick next summer.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) October 5, 2022