NBA Draft report: Victor Wembanyama of the Metropolitans 92

Victor Wembanyama’s tantalizing tools, polished skills and 7’3+ frame made him the best prospect we’ve seen since LeBron James played for St. Vincent-St. Mary twenty years ago.

Ever since LeBron was selected first in the 2003 NBA draft, a number of players have been touted as the next big thing. A few that come to mind are Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, John Wall, Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins, Zion Williamson, and Cade Cunningham. Most of these guys garnered media attention for years before becoming draft eligible. But for Wembanyama, the process has been going on for nearly five years and looks decidedly different from all of those other top picks.

While it’s easy to focus on what Wembanyama can do offensively, it’s the defensive end that stands out the most for me. In today’s NBA, there are far too many centers that can be played off the ground due to their inability to competently defend the perimeter for just a few seconds. Being switchable is one of the most important things when looking for the ideal modern big, but not many players possess this trait. For Wembanyama, this is not a problem.

In the months leading up to the draft, you’re sure to see clips of Wembanyama struggling to stay ahead of the guards. The reality is that he’s such a good prospect that people will nitpick his game just to try to find areas where he legitimately needs improvement. However, Wembanyama mostly does a good job forcing opposing guards to beat him.

The Frenchman has good mobility in his hips which allows him to turn his body and go in the right direction when the guards try to push him away from the rebound. Wembanyama also has a wingspan which should be measured at around eight feet. This makes it nearly impossible for guards to finish on him, and it also gives him the ability to challenge outside shots from further away.

The natural comparison for Wembanyama defensively will be Rudy Gobert. Wembanyama looks like a fun mirror version of the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and the two are of course from the same country. But like most player comparisons, it feels a bit lazy and obvious. As brilliant as Gobert was, he had problems when he was transferred to the perimeter. Wembanyama does not appear to be a liability under any circumstances. While Wembanyama will surely be a similar presence to block shots around the basket – he’s averaging 3.2 blocks per game this season in a really good league – he looks a little more like a top Anthony Davis at this end of the game. ground.

Davis was able to flip switches and make guards extremely uncomfortable – and still can to some degree. It wasn’t as easy as for someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it was enough to get the job done. Wembanyama should do the same. When you combine that with his ability to protect the rim, you’re probably talking about a guy who will be on multiple All-Defensive teams. And that kind of sounds like a safe assumption.

On the other side of the pitch, Wembanyama has the potential to be one of the biggest match nightmares we’ve ever seen. At his height, and with his absurd wingspan, the Wembanyama jumper would be unblockable from just about anywhere, but the Frenchman has high – and fluid – clearance. Unfortunately, the big man is only shooting 29.8 percent from deep in the Jeep Elite league this year, but we’ve seen him comfortably knock down shots from long range. And his 81.6% free throw percentage says everything you need to know about his touch. The horseman is not a problem and will soon be a weapon.

Wembanyama also has an impressive game off the dribble for a guy with his outrageous limbs. He might not be the most fluid player in the world, but he’s quite capable of using his dribbling to put slow-footed defenders on skates. He’s also been quite comfortable using backsteps to create space for his jumper, and it’ll be impossible to keep him if he continues to improve with this move.

It’s crazy to think of the possibilities of an offense that features Wembanyama as a screener, because it won’t be long before he becomes one of the best pick-and-rollers in the game. Although Wembanyama n doesn’t look strong, he’s a very good finisher around the basket. And pick-and-pop play will be just as deadly, as we have no doubts about its ability to hit open shots. Once he starts doing this regularly, he can attack fences with ferocity.

It’s rare for someone to be the undisputed first pick in the draft, but that makes perfect sense in this case. Wembanyama is not just a high ceiling player. It has the highest floor of any outlook we’ve seen in the last decade. While he never develops into a guy who can consistently create his own offense for himself, his ability to spot and edge finish will make him an elite scouting option when paired with the right point guard. And there’s seemingly no chance he won’t end up being great as a defender, at the very least.

The only thing that stands in Wembanyama’s way is health. The Frenchman has done a lot of work to improve his frame over the years, and he will continue to do so at the top level. NBA practice squads should be able to do wonders for him. However, when a guy who looks like him goes to the ground, everyone in the stadium will gasp. The reality is that injuries can derail any player’s career, and Wembanyama hasn’t had any major issues yet.

Overall, Wembanyama should step into the league and turn into All-Star production right away. That’s how valuable his skills are. Look no further than the season he has in France this year for proof. Wembanyama is playing adult men and he’s averaging 21.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, and he’s gotten a lot of MVP buzz throughout the year.

Whoever ends up selecting Wembanyama gets a legit franchise player, with the potential to be an all-time great.

Sports Grp1

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