Wembanyama's best fits in NBA draft first-round need reevaluation

The 2024 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away and finding the right fit for Victor Wembanyama will be the San Antonio Spurs priority.
Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

It's almost time for all the speculation to end, but the light at the end of the tunnel isn't, yet, bright enough to ease the vitamin-deprived fans clamoring for the draft to arrive. With a little more than a week left, the San Antonio Spurs picture has become less clear. Everyone knows what the biggest weaknesses on the team are; point guard play, shooting, reliable play from the small forward position and depth, but how they plan on addressing those ailments remains a mystery.

Recently, ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony released an article (insider link) aimed at picking the best fit for Victor Wembanyama based on who may be available when the Spurs are on the clock. At pick number four, he listed Reed Sheppard as the best option, while the number eight pick would be spent on Nikola Topic. Both of the players, while talented, come with concerns that should make you consider somebody else in both spots.

Reed Sheppard's concerns might rule him out for Spurs at 4

At this point, fans know what Reed Sheppard brings to the table but his size is still a concern. It's no fault of his own but the guards in the NBA and the Western Conference, in particular, are too big to ignore it. Zaccharie Risacher was listed third on Givony's list as a great prospect to pair with Wembanyama but he should be first. If Risacher is available when San Antonio is on the clock, they would be silly not to take him.

If the Spurs could add Risacher alongside Wembanyama and Jeremy Sochan, it may not be long before they're boasting the best defensive frontcourt in the NBA. Risacher can shoot the ball well and his length will cause issues for opponents on both sides of the floor. The French forward has unlimited potential and has been projected as a top-two pick in this year's draft. Picking him, should he be on the board at four, should be a no-brainer.

Nikola Topic's injury should be a red flag for the Spurs

Seeing so many outlets continue to mock Topic to the Spurs after his reported ACL tear is baffling for many reasons, except one. They seem to be insinuating that a traditionally competitive franchise has become okay with losing. San Antonio hasn't made the playoffs in five seasons and after back-to-back 22-60 seasons, you would think that organization would be eager to get back to their winning ways. But that doesn't seem to be the belief for many and that's just wrong.

Topic is possibly looking at a red shirt freshman year in the NBA. If the Serbian guard spends the entire season rehabbing, he's missing valuable development time. Coach Popovich is already 75 years old. It is highly unlikely that he wants to add a player that he knows won't be ready to step foot on the basketball court until he is halfway through 76.

Providence guard Devin Carter was not named on Givony's list but he should be. Carter is 6'3 with a 6'7 wingspan and does all the little things to help a team win. He's a dog on defense and improved his three-point percentage to 38% last season. NBA scouts have given him a Derrick White comparison and if that's to be believed, he would be a perfect piece to insert next to Wembanyama and San Antonio should seriously consider selecting him at eight.