San Antonio Spurs: Victor Wembanyama demands your attention

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs must have an eye on Victor Wembanyama for 2023

NBA Draft prospect scouting has come so far that at this point it doesn’t matter where in the world a tantalizing player grows up, someone is bound to find him eventually. It could be Athens, Ohio, or Athens, Greece, the best players are bound to appear on the radar of the San Antonio Spurs or one of the 29 other teams long before it’s their turn to have their name called on draft night.

You want to be careful when hyping up overseas prospects who don’t get as much exposure to casual NBA fans. For every Giannis, there’s a Bruno Caboclo, and unless you’re a professional scout or pouring over hours of footage it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes. But now and again there’ll be rumblings about a player who you can’t help but take notice of.

Emoni Bates has been drawing comparisons to Kevin Durant as he dominates high school basketball here in America, but across the pond in Europe, a 16-year old named Victor Wembanyama has firmly grabbed the attention of NBA scouts.

Victor Wembanyama is one of the most exciting prospects in the world

ESPN’s Mike Schmitz was one of the first to report on Wembanyama. He’s called him the best long-term prospect in the world and it doesn’t take long to see why Schmitz feels so strongly about the 7’3 French teenager.

Like his fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert, Wembanyama’s size instantly makes him a candidate to become one of the most intimidating shot blockers in the world. But that’s where the comparisons to Gobert end. Unlike Rudy, who has been confined to the post for most of his career, Wembanyama can play all over the floor.

He moves well for his size, looks comfortable putting the ball on the floor and bringing it up on his own, and has shown an ability to find cutting teammates in either halfcourt or transition situations to set them up for easy baskets. His passing can improve, but if he can make it a strong suit, and combine it with his rediculous height, he can be a real asset as a secondary playmaker down the road.

He can shoot it too. Wembanyama looks comfortable pulling up from behind the arc and has a smooth stroke that, when combined with his absurd wingspan, should be nearly unblockable when he’s ready to make his move to the NBA.

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You want to be careful of overhyping a draft prospect before they’ve done too much but Victor Wembanyama looks like he has all the skills to be a special player in the NBA in a few years. He needs to be watched by the San Antonio Spurs and every other team that’s remotely interested in a potential star player in 2023.

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