The San Antonio Spurs stunned the entire NBA fanbase when they quickly hit the reset button and traded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. Luckily, there's a bright side to everything. Next month, fans will finally see the prospect that the team is after in action.
Victor Wembanyama is one of the most highly sought prospects that lottery teams are excited to acquire. Along with Scoot Henderson, the race to get one of the two players has become tight. After trading Murray before the start of free agency, the Spurs have made it clear that they have their eyes set on Wembanyama.
The French big is a talented basketball player. Standing at 7-foot-2, he stands out among the others. Together with his freakishly lengthy wingspan (eight feet!), the young, big man can be a certified rim protector.
Most fans of the Silver and Black are hoping to get the projected number one pick by the time the 2023 NBA Draft comes around. Wembanyama shares similar physical features with the second pick this year, Chet Holmgren. Holmgren showed a ton of promise coming into the NBA Draft, and the Oklahoma City Thunder wasted no time drafting him. During the Las Vegas Summer League, Holmgren played decent and had great chemistry with Josh Giddey.
However, it didn't end well for Holmgren.
He suffered a right foot injury after taking on LeBron James on a fastbreak. To be fair, James is a pretty strong athlete. Still, it's concerning that a player with a similar build to Victor Wembanyama has a high chance of getting injured against NBA-level talent.
Spurs fans shouldn't downplay Wembenyama's injury history
For players built like Wembanyama, injuries can compromise their quality of play. Being only 18 years old, Wembanyama has gone through some concerning injuries in his young basketball career.
The young big man has had lower body injuries that have sidelined him for quite sometime. In December 2020, Wembanyama dealt with a fibula stress fracture that caused him to miss eight weeks of action. His next injury that's worthy mentioning didn't occur until 11 months later. In the months of November and December, the Frenchman fractured his finger and injured his right shoulder blade. Both injuries held him back for months.
Six months after his shoulder injury, Wembanyama was sidelined again. This time, he was ruled out for the whole season for his team, ASVEL Basket. He still hasn't recovered from the injury, which is why he's not participating in this year's EuroBasket 2022. It's a good decision not to play him during this time. The young star can rest for a while and take this opportunity to prepare himself for the exhibition games in Las Vegas for next month.
Wembanyama has an advantage against some of the players. He is still young, but he's already had the chance to play against seasoned veterans in the pro leagues. Wembanyama's past injuries may help the Spurs on how to handle his health.
It's risky for San Antonio to gamble on a young big who's already dealt with injuries. However, since Victor Wembanyama is a unicorn player, the Spurs should still be willing to draft the young Frenchman.