When will Victor Wembanyama make his debut for the San Antonio Spurs?


The San Antonio Spurs are less than one month from selecting Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and making him the unequivocal centerpiece of their full-scale rebuild. Although the towering teenager is not officially a part of the organization yet, fans are already clamoring to see him suit up in Silver and Black for the first time.

Most rookies make their unofficial debut during Summer League, and with the Spurs joining the Kings, Lakers, Warriors, Hornets, and Heat at the California Classic in Sacramento, Wembanyama could make his first on-court appearance at the Golden 1 Center. But the circumstances surrounding his entry into the league could impact whether he gets any minutes.

Wembanyama is in the thick of a playoff run with Metropolitans 92, and they are one win away from defeating ASVEL and advancing to the LNB Pro A Finals. Considering that five-game championship series could last until June 20th, two days before the 2023 NBA Draft, the Spurs may decide to rest him after all the mileage he accumulated throughout the season.

The Mavericks took a cautious approach with Luka Doncic when they chose him fifth in 2018, sitting their Slovenian star at Las Vegas Summer League after he notched 73 games and 1835 minutes with Real Madrid leading up to the draft. While it might disappoint some of the Spurs faithful, Wemby could receive similarly careful treatment from General Manager Brian Wright.

Gregg Popovich and the front office might want to see how the 7-foot-5 center stacks up against NBA competition as soon as possible, so there is an outside chance he earns some limited run in Sacramento or Las Vegas. However, it feels more likely that Wembanyama premieres for the Spurs once their preseason schedule rolls around in late September.

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