The Wembanyama hype is getting bigger and bigger as we get closer to the 2023 NBA draft. Some are already calling the French stud the next face of the NBA and could become the next big thing. While the 19-year-old is the biggest prospect since LeBron James, there’s no denying that he is a generational talent, one that every team would want. With the draft just right around the corner, he is already getting comparisons to NBA legends and superstars. But, one name stands out in the crowd, an underrated big man in the ’90s who some people might have already forgotten. Who could it be?
Who is Victor Wembanyama?
To those who are just hearing about this young star’s name, here we go. Victor Wembanyama may be a generational talent. As a result, the 19-year-old French basketball star is considered a “unicorn” considering his skillset and abilities. His ceiling is so high that the EuroLeague won’t be enough to measure his full potential; hence, he needs to showcase his God-given talents in the NBA.
Dubbed the best European prospect since Luka Doncic (2018) and probably the most prominent athlete since LeBron James (2003), the stud from France has the traits of the perfect basketball player every team in the NBA is dying for. Written below is everything you need to know about Victor Wembanyama.
|Height||7 feet and 3 inches (allegedly)|
|Wingspan||7 feet and 8 inches|
Wemby plays for the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in the LNB Pro A in France. In 33 games during his 2022-23 season campaign with the Mets 92, he averaged an outstanding 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game. Further, Wembanyama is projected to be the San Antonio Spurs’ first pick in the 2023 NBA draft this June. Fans can’t wait to see the 19-year-old in the NBA and become the cornerstone of the Spurs franchise.
NBA Comparison: Which player (current and/or former) does Victor Wembanyama compare to?
Various scouting reports have made it clear that Victor Wembanyama is a unique player. The generational talent has a lot of tools as a player in which it’s very difficult to compare him to another NBA player. Some call Wemby a taller version of Kevin Durant, or a heavily improved Kristaps Porzingis, but one big man from the ’90s era caught our attention. Victor Wembanyama just got the honor to be compared to the Dunking Dutchman, Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits.
Rik Smits was drafted by the Pacers in 1988 and played a great 12-year career with them until 2000. Smits has been a solid contributor, putting up double digits in scoring throughout his NBA career. He was also a good shooter and became a second option next to Reggie Miller. The greatest Dutch player stood at 7 feet and 4 inches, and despite his height, he was a fluid big man. Some fans dub Smits as Dirk Nowitzki of the ’90s.
Wembanyama’s scouting report notably has Rik Smits as one of his NBA comparisons due to their size, length, and ability to knock down shots.
Although Wembanyama may be a better overall athlete, Smits deserves some respect for his name. He is fairly underrated in an era where centers ruled the game. The ’90s were bombarded by big men such as Shaquille O’Neal, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and many more. But, Rik Smits is often times overlooked as one of the best centers during that time. Maybe, even the top 10.
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