Valentine's Day is in the rearview mirror, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Spurs fans long for their team to land Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft, and it is easy to see why. Wembanyama is the most coveted prospect since LeBron James, and everyone wants to dance with the belle of the ball. In any relationship, compatibility is essential, and the partnership should elevate everyone involved. With that in mind, let's dive into the benefits of San Antonio adding Wembanyama.
The French phenom would bring an array of skills to the Spurs. None of those skills are more significant than his defensive prowess. At 7'4" with a reported eight-foot wingspan, the 19-year-old big man is a weakside, shot-blocking menace averaging 3.1 blocks a game. He moves his feet well when guarding smaller players and understands how to use his length to make an impact. The San Antonio Spurs rank dead last in defensive rating this season, something Wembanyama could immediately help improve.
Gregg Popovich is a patriarchal figure in the NBA for many reasons; the respect he treats everyone with, his longevity with one franchise, the five championships, and his ability to mentor players and coaches. Coach Pop has seen just about everything, everything but Victor Wembanyama. A talent like Wembanyama could make his job much easier, allowing him to center the offense around a generational talent. The prospect of building another contender with a player of that magnitude might even add years to the coaching career of the 73-year-old playcaller.
3 Players that benefit most from the Spurs adding Wemby
The first player on my list is Devin Vassell. A knee procedure has sidelined Vassell until after the All-Star Break, but he was making his presence felt before going down. Vassell is a defender and versatile scorer with moves and counter moves to get his shot off. The defender in Vassell will benefit the most with an interior anchor he can trust to switch and cover the weakside, affording him the luxury to be more aggressive using his length in the passing lanes. This aggression will only lead to more scoring opportunities for Vassell, enhancing his rapidly rising value.
Keldon Johnson will also see his stock soar as an added benefit of a Wembanyama's presence. According to the NBA's advanced statistics, Johnson is shooting contested shots at the fifth-highest rate in the league. With all the attention a 7'4" offensive dynamo is sure to command, Keldon will have more open looks on the 3-point line and more room to drive like a human wrecking ball. The Big Body averages 21.9 points per game despite his contested shot percentage. But there is the potential for a higher scoring ceiling if he had more room to operate.
Tre Jones is the final contestant in the gameshow where everyone wins. Jones is in the third year of his NBA career, and he's shown a solid ability to run the team as its starting point guard, but he could use a potent running mate. Wembanyama's versatility combined with Jones' speed and poise could make them a devastating in the pick-and-roll tandem. As an aggressive defender, Jones might also benefit in the same way as Vassell. Victor Wembanyama unquestionably possesses the talent to change the trajectory of a team, coach, and organization, and the Spurs would be fortunate to put a ring on it.