Arguably the greatest prospect of all time, Victor Wembanyama led his team in France to the championship final, falling just short. Regardless, his leadership and winning resume at such a young age is extraordinarily rare, resembling only the likes of Luka Doncic. On the year, Wembanyama averaged 20.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 3 BPG, and 2.9 TOPG on splits of 47/27/82. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Victor Wembanyama
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’9/9’7 (unofficial)
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Metropolitans 92
Tools: Elite size + skill combo
- Elite frame
- Quick handle
- Clean shooting stroke
- Outstanding ability to block shots from both on-ball and help defense
- Strong ability to find cutters; potential as a playmaker
- Good motor
- Excellent rebounder
- Outstanding above the rim finisher; can reach the rim around defenders easily
- Shoots over defenders with ease; difficult to block his shot
- Injury prone
- Needs to add weight
- Needs to overcome foul trouble
- Could make more advanced reads more fluidly
- Negative assist:turnover ratio
Victor Wembanyama is a one-of-one prospect that has an argument to be the single greatest prospect of all time, or at the very least, the best prospect since Lebron James in 2003. The short version of why is simply: there has never been a prospect with his size, skill, athleticism, and intangibles combination come along in basketball history.
Breaking it down further, the weaknesses list is very short, and if he were to fall short of expectations, it’s unlikely to be because of skill or productivity. The absolutely main reason Wembanyama would ‘fail’ in the NBA entirely stems from injury; with his frame, he may be more injury prone than the average big man, with an already compiled injury list. However, he played the entire season injury-free this year, which can give NBA teams a nice sigh of relief and hopeful sign in the right direction.
While Wembanyama needs to improve foul trouble, he can easily iron that out as he matures and continues to get more reps. As a passer, he can make some reads slightly slowly, but this should be seen as more nitpicking as opposed to a notable flaw. Wembanyama still makes incredible reads, and capitalizes on his height allowing him to see over the defenses by seeing the next play before it happens. One example below:
The last knock on Wembanyama is that he is skinny and needs to add weight; while this is somewhat valid, Victor is stronger than his appearance in terms of functional strength, but he will need to get stronger to fend off the strongest and best bigs in the league, including the MVP’s of the last three seasons. Overall though, this weakness is not as glaring of a flaw as a lot of other people make it out to be.
Getting to his strengths, there’s never been a prospect at 7’4/7’5 that can handle the ball like he can, with off the dribble shot creation combined with elite finishing and high-end defense. The offense is easy to see, being able to dribble low and prevent getting stripped easily, while also being able to finish above the rim at a rate and ability never seen before. His length, athleticism, and separation ability makes him one of the toughest finishers to defend for bigs that are dropping back. As a shooter, he has clean form and can hit shots on the move, which is unprecedented for a big man. This complete offensive portfolio, along with high-level defense and elite recovery ability to make him impossible to eliminate from a play, combine to make him an elite prospect.
What puts him over the top is that his motor is nonstop, and he has an unteachable feel for the game. He knows where to be at the right times, and like noted before, he can see plays before they happen, making for outstanding anticipation and instincts.
Overall, there’s good reason for the hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama. Him being drafted to the Spurs, an organization known for maximizing talent, as well as good history with French players, is the ideal landing spot for both parties as Coach Popovich heads towards the sunset of his coaching career. Look for Wembanyama to be a highly productive player that instantly boosts the win total for the Spurs from 22 to at least mid-30s, if not higher, if he can stay healthy. Long-term, the expectations are wildly high, but reasonable, potentially being one of the most unstoppable players in NBA history.
Similar to: None; one-of-one prospect
Projected draft range: 1
Expected role: Do-it-all big man
Unplayable if: Injuries are the only way Wembanyama can be played off a floor.
Exceeds expectations if: He stays healthy and he finds consistency in shooting while being able to handle traps as a ball-handler. Also, adding strength to be a high-level defender at the rim will be key for him.