The Ringer recently released its final NBA player rankings of the 2022-23 season, and company CEO (and talking head) Bill Simmons followed that up by posting his personal trade value rankings. As if Spurs fans needed anything else to celebrate, Simmons named future Spur Victor Wembanyama (can Thursday come any faster?) the fourth greatest trade asset in the league.
On the accompanying episode of his self-titled podcast, Bill Simmons went as far as to pose the following question: “will this be the lowest that Wemby ranks on the trade value list for the next 15 years?” Joe House, Simmons’ guest, responded to the ranking by saying “nobody is [able to] trade anything for Victor Wembanyama.”
The trade value rankings are, at this point, a time-honored tradition from “The Podfather,” who has released this list since he was writing independently in the early 2000s. For anyone who may be asking how a player’s NBA rank and trade value may differ, Simmons has Lauri Markennan six spots higher than LeBron James. Of course, these rankings factor in age, contract, productivity, personal ties to the team, and more.
To be clear, no, Bill Simmons is not saying he thinks Wembanyama will step onto the court and be the fourth best player in the NBA. What he is declaring, though, is the Spurs likely hang up the phone in trade discussions for all but three players in the league—Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Doncic.
Also, to get ahead of this before it begins: the Spurs are NOT trading Victor Wembanyama. The team just won the lottery (both literally and figuratively) to land the greatest basketball prospect since King James took his throne in the NBA. On top of that, we are seeing and hearing more and more each day about just how much Wemby seems to like Alamo City and its fans.
It seems like nearly everybody (minus Houston Rockets fans) is in on the Spurs’ long-term prospects with Wemby. J.J. Reddick recently ranked San Antonio as having the second best young core in the league (including Wemby), just behind Oklahoma City.
On a newer episode of Simmons’ podcast, the host described his confidence for the Spurs to be “at minimum a .500 team” so long as Victor stays healthy. As covered by our Noah Magaro-George, Bill also recently deemed the Silver and Black as “not that far away from being a first-round playoff team.”
Needless to say, most people who cover the sport are just as excited about Victor Wembanyama’s looming arrival in the NBA as Spurs fans are. We’ll all just have to wait until Thursday night's draft to see it materialize.