The NBA’s next unicorn prospect isn’t being talked about enough


It is no secret that NBA Draft buzz heats up as soon as March Madness ends. Players can get overhyped like Emoni Bates or Patrick Baldwin Jr, and they can get undervalued like Keegan Murray or Kennedy Chandler. Specifically, Bates received too much hype at a young age and has not been able to meet those expectations for now. When a high school athlete is deemed the next great in a league that they are two years away from being eligible to play in, doubt can start to creep into his or her mind. For the draft class of 2023, there is a prospect that is considered the top prospect in the class and is the most unique prospect that has entered the league in years. The next superstar the NBA has not seen yet is French prospect Victor Wembenyama. Wembenyama is still a young prospect at the age of 18. He stands at 7’2″ and has a bizarre wingspan of 7’9″ feet. The stud from Nanterre, France, currently plays for LNB Pro in the Euro league. This is the same league that Luka Doncic came from as well. 

Why might Wembenwayma be the next stud from Europe? There are many reasons why France’s prized possession could be the next generational talent in the NBA, but the main reason is his size and athleticism. Victor is already 7’2″ at the age of 18, which leaves time for him to grow even more. He also has a wingspan of 7’9″ feet, which implies that he will provide a shot-blocking presence in the paint. Wembenyama averaged near two blocks a game on 18 minutes a game. He also is quicker than the standard is at his position. Victor can create his own shot and has the ability to blow by opposing defenders. Not many bigs in the NBA have this ability which will make Webenyama a unique matchup for opposing defenses. He also has played in the Euro league for three years now, which is preparing him for the NBA. Doncic made a similar transition, and he believes the pace and the defensive level are akin to the NBA. Wembenyama also will spend a total of four years in the Euro League before he enters the league.

When it comes to overall skill, the French prodigy has a lot to work on but has shown promise in his progression. He has a three-point percentage of approximately 26 percent, which is above average compared to an NBA center. He has improved his percentage compared to his first year in 2019. Wembenyama also has the ability to knock down a mid-range shot and finish at the rim. His finishing ability reminds me a lot of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s, as both players use their length to get as close as the rim to dunk or finish. He isn’t an enforcer in the paint when it comes to rebounding, but he is a presence that can efficiently rebound. 

He still has a few concerns before he enters the 2023 NBA draft. His size is definitely uncanny, but he isn’t the strongest player and will need to get used to the physicality of the NBA. Wembenyama will also have to improve his shot-creating ability if he wants to be a premier scoring option for a contending team in the NBA. Ball-handling and free-throw shooting will also have to be addressed prior to the draft. Nevertheless, he has the potential to be an all-time great, in my opinion. He can get to the rim and finish similarly to Giannis, has the potential to shoot like KD and has the length and shot-blocking ability similar to Gobert. With time and effort, Victor Wembenyama is one of the best prospects since Lebron.