Revisiting Wembanyama preseason predictions after history-making rookie season

The San Antonio Spurs again missed the playoffs. But, unlike last season, there's reason for optimism thanks to Victor Wembanyama, who shattered expectations.
Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
6 of 6
Next Slide

Preseason prediction: Wembanyama will play 70 games and average 30 mpg

There have been few players of Wembanyama's size to ever play in the NBA, let alone have a long and successful career. For every Mark Eaton, there are the likes of Gheorghe Muresan, Pavel Podkolzin, or even Yao Ming. Ming, who was initially among the most durable players in the NBA after only missing two games in his first three seasons, was forced into retirement due to a variety of injuries.

All that is to say is that Spurs fans were likely nervous to see how Wemby would hold up over the course of a long season. My offseason projection saw him play 70 games and average 30 minutes per game.

Of course, he tallied 71 games and averaged 29.7 minutes per game. My reasoning was that the Spurs would prioritize getting their franchise cornerstone through his rookie season rather than playing him big minutes. That was less of a bold prediction and more of seeing how the team has handled its players over the last decade. It's worked, and he made it through his rookie season in one piece.

The Spurs may not try to reinvent the wheel and attempt to do something similar next season. Especially with him playing in the Olympics, they will probably increase his minutes slightly and seek to have him play a few more games barring a significant injury. Ultimately, Wembanyama's health was the biggest question mark, but everything went according to plan.

Prediction: Mostly correct