The collective basketball community has been obsessed with Victor Wembanyama since the hype train surrounding his unprecedented combination of size, skill, and grace left the station a little over three years ago. His generational potential had numerous front offices across the league tanking for a chance to cement him as the face of their franchise last season, and the San Antonio Spurs struck gold after injuries and inexperience sent them plummeting to the bottom of the league standings.
Professional talent evaluators and casual fans have never seen someone like Wembanyama, and it makes sense that the French phenom has dominated national headlines since arriving stateside. He has singlehandedly thrust the Silver and Black back into the limelight with his tremendous presence on and off the court, and he even found himself at the center of the annual General Manager Survey from the NBA, where he took home top honors in a handful of notable and prestigious categories.
Wembanyama was the runaway favorite to win Rookie of the Year, earning 50% of the votes in that anonymous poll. With San Antonio coming off their worst season in over two decades, the 19-year-old forward should record massive per-game numbers if Gregg Popovich hands him the keys to the offense. The Spurs faithful got a taste of how the team plans to use him when he went head-to-head against Chet Holmgren and a young Oklahoma City squad in his preseason debut on Monday night.
The first overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft also secured 90% of the votes for which rookie will be the best player in five years, besting Scoot Henderson, Amen Thompson, and Holmgren by a landslide on that ballot. Honestly, those results are hardly shocking. Scouts have lauded Wembanyama as the best prospect since LeBron James, so how could you make a case for anyone else when his name is in the same breath as one of the most unstoppable forces and accomplished superstars of all time?
Perhaps the most encouraging sight on the leaguewide questionnaire was Victor coming in second as the player executives would most want to sign if they were building an organization from scratch. He attained 23% of the votes, finishing ahead of perennial MVP candidates like Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum. Other clubs can daydream all they want, but Victor Wembanyama isn't leaving the San Antonio Spurs anytime soon.