VICTOR WEMBANYAMA

BIRTHDATE: 1/4/04

POSITION: Center

HEIGHT: 7'2"

WEIGHT: 210 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: ASVEL (France)

CLASS: International 

STRENGTHS

  • Skilled scorer on in the post with good footwork coordination and balance

  • Good soft touch around the rim 

  • Has the agility to be an effective scorer as the roll man

  • Good fluid athlete with vertical pop

  • Huge catch radius and vertical lob threat

  • Draws fouls 

  • Upside of as a shooter 

  • Off rebounding; knack for rebound tip dunks

  • Agile and runs the floor

  • Elite defensive presence 

  • Ridiculous 7'8' wingspan

  • Shot blocking specialist

  • Mobile enough to defend in space

  • Good free throw shooter

AREAS TO IMPROVE

  • Settles for jump shots 

  • Must bulk up and get stronger

  • Physicality makes him take tough shots

  • Doesn’t always sprint floor

  • Tendency to get in foul trouble

Let me introduce you to the most hyped international prospect since Luka Doncic. Although he’s not eligible for the daft until 2023, all the hype surrounding France’s Victor Wembanyama is legit. Wembanyama is a special talent, and I don’t like to use the word special loosely.

 

His impact on the defensive end alone would make him one of the best prospects in recent memory as he displayed at the FIBA U19 World Cup where he averaged 5.7 blocks per game… 5.7! With a wingspan as long as the lines to get into the Louvre on a summer day, Wembanyama single handedly altered or destroyed opponents games plans and strategies. 

 

Wembanyama’s block parties aren’t just at the rim, he’s blocking floaters, runners and hooks. He was so dominant at the rim, a few possessions it looks as if the game plan was to take him out the paint to make him defend in space…  And it didnt work. His agility, fluidity and mobility allows him to defend small guards and he uses his ridiculous 7’8 wing span to smother ball handlers who have the audacity to attack him off the dribble.

 

Scoring Around The Rim

 

While Wembanyama’s defense is his greatest asset, he no slouch on the offensive end of the floor. This is not situation where we have a dominant defender with a raw offensive game. Wembanyama is super skilled for a 17 year old 7 footer. He has a soft touch around the rim and along with good footwork, balance coordination and instincts. 

 

I love how he already has advanced post moves and counters… He loves to throw defenders off balance with shot fakes, but he’s also comfortable putting the ball on the floor and creating his own shot..

 

Scoring as Roll man 

 

Wembanyama has the mobility to be a really effective and impactful roll man in the NBA. He can roll hard to the rim, short roll and pick & pop. 

 

At the U19s he shot a little under 67% and scored 1.4 ppp when he rolled to the basket. Although he’s skinny, he shows he’s not afraid to make contact on screens..

 

Especially if it’s going to get him an easy lob..Well all of his lobs look super easy because he’s 7 for 2 with a ridiculous wingspan so it always looks as if he’s dunking on a nerf hoop. 

 

I really believe Wembanyama is going to be a matchup nightmare in the NBA.. He’ll be able to stretch defenses vertically since all his teammates have to do is throw it up near the rim and he’ll be able to finish.. If you think about it, it’s really not fair one kid can have so much talent. He’s skilled, he’s mobile and he has good quick twitch muscles and vertical pop..

 

Oh… and he can run the floor like a wing.

 

Now lets’ talk about his potential as a floor spacer. Although he only shot 4-22 from 3 at the U19s I believe in his upside as a shooter.. Again, he’s only 17 years old and still 2 years away from being draft eligible, so by the time he hears his name called as the first overall pick in the 2023 draft, I fully expect him to be a 35% shooter from deep. I think he has the chance to be a combination of Karl Anthony Towns or Kristaps Porzingis on offense with the defensive impact of Rudy Gobert.

 

 

There are only a couple things that concern me which could prevent Wembanyama from maximizing his endless potential. Obivously he’ll need to get stronger and add 20-30 pounds to his frame. The key is making sure he’s not adding the weight and muscle too fast. His lack of strength causes him to get forced out of his sweet spots and to take some tough shots vs stronger defenders with a more solid base.

 

I’d like to see him to continue his process as a shooter and become more consistent. But I do worry that if he becomes automatic from 3, he’ll abandoned the post because it’s less wear and tear on his thin frame.

Rafael Barlowe - August 11, 2021