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Potential 2023 No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama is a generational talent that will change the trajectory of one lucky NBA franchise for a long time, and it could pay dividends for that team beyond statistics, records and championships.
Speaking on ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Thursday (1: 37 mark in video below), Adrian Wojnarowski reported that an anonymous team president told him that drafting the French superstar could add up to $500 million to the value of a franchise.
Wembanyama’s talent was on full display this week in Las Vegas where his Metropolitans 92 suited up against the NBA G League Ignite in two exhibition games.
In the first matchup on Oct. 4, Wembanyama notched 37 points, four rebounds, one steal and five blocks in a 122-115 loss. In the second game on Thursday, he tallied 36 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, one steal and four blocks in a 112-106 win.
The 7’4″ center has been lauded by many NBA players, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who told reporters that his talent is like nothing we have seen before:
“Everybody has been labeling this unicorn thing. Everybody has been a unicorn for the last two years, but he’s more like an alien. I’ve never seen—no one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is, but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor.
“… His ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot step-back jumpers out of the post, step-back threes, catch-and-shoot threes, block shots. … He’s for sure a generational talent.”
Wembanyama also told reporters that while he takes inspiration from players like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, he is carving out his own path and his goal is to be one-of-a-kind.
“I’ve always been trying to be original,” he told the Associated Press. “Unique, that’s the word. My goal is to be like something you’ve never seen.”
Wembanyama is so good that many fans want their teams to tank for him during the 2022-23 season to land the top pick in the 2023 NBA draft. However, Commissioner Adam Silver is against that idea.
“I know that many of our NBA teams are salivating at the notion that potentially through our lottery, they can get him, so they should all still compete very hard next season,” Silver said, per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.
Whichever team lands Wembanyama will undoubtedly have a bright future, and it will be interesting to see which franchise lands the No. 1 pick in the draft to essentially secure his talents.
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