Wembanyama takes the court for the Metropolitans 92. Photo courtesy of Thomas Savoja/Wiki Commons
He is the most “promising prospect since Lebron James,” said one analyst.
Victor Wembanyama stands at a miraculous 7 ‘4 inches tall with an eight-foot wingspan. Prior to being selected first overall in the 2023 draft, Wembanyama played the last three seasons in the LNB Pro A in France, the country’s highest professional league. He played as a part of the Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92.
As a part of the Metropolitans in 2022 and 2023, Wembanyama averaged 21.6 points per game to go along with 10.4 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists per game. Wembanyama also earned LNB’s Pro-A MVP, Defensive Player of The Year, as well as Best Young Player Honors.
Wembanyama was the consensus number one overall pick in the 2023 draft, in which the rights of that pick were owned by the San Antonio Spurs. Rather than trade that pick away for assets, the front office took a chance on one of the most highly sought-after draft picks of all time.
After a long-awaited offseason, the prospect finally made his debut on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in a game against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
The 19-year-old rookie scored his first points of his NBA career on the top of the arch three. After setting the second screen of a double screen play for guard Devin Vasell, Wembanya received the pass at the top of the key hitting the open three-pointer as a result of the screens.
This would be the first of six made field goals on the night in which the rookie would score 15 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists.
Due to foul trouble, Wembanyama only played 23 minutes but was able to showcase his skills in the limited playing time in a game in which the Mavericks would win 126-119.
Spurs on the rise
With young talent such as Victor Wembanyama (19), Jeremy Sochan (20), and Devin Vassell (22), fans of the San Antonio Spurs should be excited. For the first time since the Kawahi Leonard days, it looks like the front office is taking steps to build a playoff-caliber team. Though it may take time for this team to compete in the Western Conference, the young core being built in San Antonio is showing promise.
You also can’t forget about Gregg Popovich, one of, if not the most successful coaches of all time. Popovich has won five NBA titles as a coach of the Spurs, and now has an exciting young team to build around.
The veteran coach has embraced his new team, saying it has been “exciting in a different way.”
The Spurs will be a fun team to watch this year with the plethora of young talent they have. Though I don’t see them making the playoffs this year, this team could be a potential sneaky playoff team in just a few years.