There’s a name every NBA fan must get to know before the next NBA draft, and he is not an American. The 18-year-old basketball star out of France, Victor Wembanyama, is already making headlines as the top prospect next year, 2023.
Born in La Chesnay, France, Wembanyama has been introduced to sports at a very young age. He grew up training for Judo and playing football and basketball. Ever since then, Wembanyama’s growth spurt made him a very notable basketball player. At a very young age, he is already sharing the floor with adults and full-grown men in the French League. It may be very early to say that he would go first in the 2023 NBA draft, but, as the ratings are going, every team would want to take him. But, why?
Victor Wembanyama Player Profile
Wembanyama may be a generational talent, to say the least. As a result, the 18-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 as the best European prospect since Luka Doncic (2018), 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|
|Wingspan||7 feet and 8 inches|
- Defense: Wembanyama’s most reliable asset is his towering height and long wingspan. This alone makes him a huge threat in the paint as a scorer and a rim protector. If you watch his games, blocking shots is just like a walk in the park for the 18-year-old. Not only is he an elite shot-blocker, but he’s also proved to be an excellent perimeter defender, a skill most big men lack. Being a great perimeter defender means he can adapt to switches without causing much problem to his team, which is another great fundamental to his game.
- Offense: The French center is equally as good on the offensive side as he was on the defense side of the ball. He can score the ball easily plus he can shoot anywhere on the court. Only a few big men can do what Wembanyama does and it’s probably why he is the most sought-out athlete recently. Additionally, his first step is very deadly and he can create spaces to make shots. He is tall, quick, versatile, and moves like a point guard (passing and ballhandling), what more can an NBA team ask for?
Also, he may have been listed as 7-foot-3 in the EuroLeague but his height has allegedly reached up to 7-foot-5. His wingspan was also reported to have also extended to about 2 more inches (7-foot-10). However, all of these will not be officially known until he gets measured by the NBA next year.
- Unfortunately, the common problem with extremely tall guys is their skinny frames. A similar guy that has this kind of problem is the 2022 2nd overall pick, Chet Holmgren. Well, Victor Wembanyama has it too. He is currently listed at 200 pounds which is well below the perfect weight for a 7-footer. He needs to add more muscle to eventually add more strength to his body, much like what Giannis Antetokounmpo did in his early days.
- Offensively, he is already outstanding. However, he needs to add more tricks in his bag to be able to go against other big men in the league like Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and many more. Currently, he is being trained with post moves by his camp. Come the 2023 draft, we might be seeing how good Wembanyama is.
- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
- Kristaps Porzingis (Washington Wizards)
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Victor Wembanyama Accolades
In his latest French LNB PRO A league with ASVEL, Wembanyama averaged these numbers in only 18 minutes played:
- 9.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.8 blocks
But, if we adjust his numbers to the per36-minute stats, we could see a superstar in the making:
- 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 3.5 blocks
Career achievements at 18:
- 2x French League’s Rising Star
- 2x LNB PRO A Best Young Player
- FIBA 2021 U-19 Silver Medal
- FIBA 2019 U-16 All-Tournament Team
- FIBA 2021-U-19 All-Tournament Team
- Wembanyama set the FIBA record for blocks per game in a single tournament
Why is Wembanyama considered a no.1 draft pick in the 2023 NBA draft?
- Taking Victor Wembanyama at number 1 is kind of a no-brainer. If only he was eligible in the last draft (2022), almost everybody would pick him first (no offense Paolo Banchero).
- He’s the best European prospect in the upcoming draft class plus his physique and abilities are a rare commodity in the NBA.
- A 7-foot-3 who moves like a guard and can defend the rim at a high level? Every team would want that.
- Just look at Chet Holmgren getting picked at number 2. Holmgren has a similar skillset to Wembanyama although some would argue that the French stud is better than the 20-year-old Center from Gonzaga University. He is also relatively younger (18) and is a world-class talent.
We have seen a lot of teams tank to be able to secure a lottery pick in the 2023 draft. The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are some of the teams that have the chance to take Wembanyama, but, only the team with the 2023 no.1 pick will be getting their hands on the Frenchman. As of this moment, Victor Wembanyama is under contract with the Pro A team Metropolitans 92 in a 2-year deal.
Which team do you see Victor Wembanyama showcase his talents in the NBA? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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