NBA Buzz Over Victor Wembanyama Keeps Growing

After wowing NBA scouts and fans with his performance in Tuesday’s exhibition game against G League Ignite, Victor Wembanyama was equally impressive on Thursday afternoon, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

The 7’3″ French center dominated nearly every aspect of the game, delivering 36 points and 11 rebounds as well as highlight blocks and outrageous long-range shots. In the two-game series, the projected No. 1 pick in next year’s draft posted 73 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocked shots while making nine three-pointers.

There was already huge anticipation surrounding Wembanyama, who was identified as a future star three years ago with a dominating performance at the FIBA ​​Europe Under-16 Championship. Seeing him stand out against G League competition has added to his legend, including among a pair of former MVPs.

“Everyone’s been a unicorn for the past few years, but he’s more like an alien,” james lebron said. “No one has ever seen someone as tall as him, but as fluid and graceful as he is on the floor. … He is, for sure, a generational talent.

“He’s like the (NBA) 2K player creator, every point guard who wants to be 7-footer,” Stephen Curry added. “Cheat code type vibes, man. It’s a solid talent. It’s great to watch.

There is more on Wembanyama:

  • While Wembanyama’s presence gives the Metropolitans 92 a chance to be one of the best teams in Europe, the coach Vincent Collet said the focus would be on preparing the young big man for the NBA Draft, Reynolds adds. Wembanyama is expected to play the full season, which runs until mid-May, and the team will focus on building up his strength and conditioning. “Just before our arrival last Saturday we had a meeting with our doctor and we are going to prepare to plan the next two months to increase what he is doing, besides the court, to strengthen the body”, Collet said. “We always pay attention to the time he spends in training, so as not to go overboard. … We plan to limit risk.
  • Wembanyama is “the greatest singular prospect in NBA draft history,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). Woj says a team president told him Wembanyama could increase the value of the franchise drafting him up to $500 million.
  • The Athletic’s John Hollinger looks at how the opportunity to land at Wembanyama could affect strategy throughout the NBA this season. He explains that GMs don’t make the decision to tank without their owner’s backing, and owners will be much more willing to take that gamble after watching Wembanyama this week. Hollinger identifies seven teams as currently “not interested in making the playoffs,” but he thinks that number could rise sharply by February, meaning plenty of helpful veterans will be available by the trade deadline.

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