The indoor temperature on the Thomas and Mack Middle in Las Vegas reached uncomfortable temperatures as followers, scouts, coaches and fellow gamers compromised customary private area to get a glimpse of Victor Wembanyama’s Summer season League debut. They flocked, partly, as a result of Wembanyama is one thing we have by no means seen earlier than — a 7-foot-4 athletic marvel, able to placing on a dribbling exhibition, swishing one-legged 3-pointers and swatting photographs into the third row of the stands.
Definitely worth the hype? Completely. One thing we have by no means seen earlier than? Properly, we could should rethink that one.
To borrow from a prospect scouting report by our very personal draft analyst Kyle Boone:
“He is an elite defender. His 7-foot-6 wingspan helps him have an effect on and block photographs routinely. Even when he isn’t essentially in excellent defensive place, he can get better with sheer size.
On offense he is an additive pressure as properly, rating final season within the 99th percentile across the rim and ending nearly each shot try inside arm’s attain of the bucket. As almost a 40% 3-point shooter, he can area the ground as a real deep menace and likewise has some true guard expertise as a handler. There’s not a lot he cannot do as a prospect, and along with his sky-high ceiling being among the many highest within the draft, he has a authentic case to be thought-about as this yr’s prime prospect.”
No, he isn’t speaking about Wembanyama, regardless of the uncanny similarity in descriptors. That is really Boone’s 2022 evaluation of Chet Holmgren, who went on to turn into the No. 2 general decide by the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. After averaging 14 factors and eight.4 rebounds in 5 video games on the 2022 Las Vegas Summer season League, Holmgren was poised to function an awesome NBA experiment throughout his rookie season.
Can a participant of Holmgren’s distinctive proportions — an Ichabod Crane-like 7-foot-1, 195 kilos — survive in opposition to the scale and power of NBA huge males? How will his diversified ability set translate? What place will he play?
They have been authentic questions as a result of, at that time, we actually had by no means seen something like Holmgren. Here is a listing of…