Critics were out in full force on Friday night after Victor Wembanyama had a disappointing Las Vegas Summer League debut in front of a sold-out Thomas & Mack Center audience, but he silenced all the doubters with a bounce-back performance in his second taste of exhibition action. Although the San Antonio Spurs fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 85-80, the towering teen more than carried his weight, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks on 9-of-14 shooting.
There has been much speculation about whether Wembanyama will suit up in another game while the Silver and Black are in Sin City. With how much mileage he accrued with Metropolitans 92 this season, no one would blame Gregg Popovich and the front office for playing things safe and sitting him on the sidelines. That path lines up with how the team has handled past stars, and the French phenom all but confirmed he will be shut down during his latest postgame press conference.
"I need to sit down with the Spurs to see what the next months are gonna be like. When to go on vacation, when to start working out, where to practice, in San Antonio or somewhere else. As I'm not playing in the World Cup, we've got two to three great months that are coming. They're gonna change my life."- Victor Wembanyama
Should Wembanyama call it a day until training camp begins, he will have almost three months to rest, recover, and hone his mind, body, and skills. The 7-foot-3 forward showcased the ballhandling, three-point shooting, playmaking, and rim protection that made taking him with the number one overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft a no-brainer for the Spurs. While fans might be bummed out to see him placed on the shelf, protecting his long-term durability is the best move for the franchise.