Victor Wembanyama is projected to be the top pick in the 2023 draft, but he’s more concerned about landing with the right team than being taken No. 1 overall, writes Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops. Wembanyama, who plays for Metropolitans 92 in France, discussed his prospects during Media Day for his team’s new season, which starts this weekend.
“Sports-wise, the most interesting thing is always to find an organization that will take care of the project and the player,” Wembanyama said, as reported by the French outlet BasketSession. “So it’s better to be second, third, or 20th in the Draft if you have a better career afterward. But I don’t know if it’s pride, I have a part in me that says that there must be no one (drafted) in front of me.”
The 18-year-old center stands 7’4″, but he only weighs a little over 200 pounds, so durability is one of the few questions surrounding him as he prepares for his NBA career. Scouts are nearly unanimous in raving about his talent, and he has been a star in international competitions for the past three years.
“What matters to me this season is above all to consolidate a place as a possible No. 1 pick in the draft,” Wembanyama added. “That’s my goal, rather than trying to put on 15 kilos and take risks. I want to strengthen myself, but above all to move towards a favorable situation for the NBA.”
- With the possibility looming that high school players will be allowed to go straight to the NBA in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Jacob Polacheck of ZagsBlog talks to some of the top prospects in the Class of 2024 about how that might affect their decisions. “I think it’s an amazing opportunity for players who have the ability to go out of high school and follow their dream of playing in the NBA,” said ian jackson of Cardinal Hayes in New York, who is considered one of the top prospects in the class. “I think it’s great and the best part is that it gives high school athletes more choices.” It’s possible that the one-and-done rule could remain in place beyond 2024 even if the NBA and NBPA aim to eventually get rid of it, as Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.
- Willy Hernangomez and Juancho Hernangomez stood out while leading Spain to the EuroBasket championship, Michael Scotto said in a HoopsHype podcast. Scotto also believes Finland’s Lauri Markkanen showed that he’s ready for a breakout season with the Jazz and that Italy’s Simone Fontecchio could be productive in Utah as well.
- Raptors representative Larry Tanenbaum was unanimously re-elected as chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, the league announced this morning (Twitter link).