It won’t be long before star prospect Victor Wembanyama enters the NBA, and it sounds like Washington Wizards veteran Kristaps Porzingis is counting the days.
Porzingis recently spoke about Wembanyama and had nothing but good things to say, expressing tons of excitement for what the youngster’s future holds.
“I think this guy’s different,” Porzingis said. “He’s like a superhuman almost, the way he can move, his handles and everything. I saw something that he’s like a mixture of a lot of great players. He has handles like K.D. (Kevin Durant), and for his height, he’s even taller than me — 7’4.” And I don’t know if you saw that highlight where he shot the 3, a stepback 3, then went to get his own rebound — that’s insane. I haven’t seen that, I don’t know, ever. So, I’m very excited to see him in the NBA.”
The Latvian big man added that it’s going to be “insane” how quickly Wembanyama improves as he continues to develop. He then gave the youngster some advice.
“I think the main thing for him is keeping his body healthy,” he said. “Obviously, he’s gonna have this — if he gets one small injury, people are gonna write him off. ‘Oh, he’s injury-prone. He’s never gonna.’ It’s not gonna be like that. Of course, he’s gonna roll an ankle or something sometime is gonna happen — hopefully never — but I just wish him the best health. I think from the stuff that I’ve seen, some small clips, he’s doing a lot of good stuff for his body. I think he’s gonna be — he’s already way ahead of the game. … What I love about him is the confidence that he has. … He knows he’s the best in that draft class. There’s no chance that he’s not going No. 1.”
Porzingis added a little more about Wembanyama.
“I think he’s like an upgraded version of me and many other players,” he said.
In 30 games this season for his current team (Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92), Wembanyama has been outstanding. He has averaged 21.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.1 blocks per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The 19-year-old has guard skills at 7-foot-4, giving him a package of abilities that any team in the NBA would love to acquire. Unfortunately for most of the league, only one team will get a chance to draft Wembanyama, and it won’t be long before fans learn which team that will be.
The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery will take place later this month, and the team that lands the top pick will almost certainly use it to draft the generational prospect. The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are all tied for the best odds at landing the top pick.
Porzingis can certainly relate to Wembanyama in some ways. Porzingis entered the NBA after playing in Europe and was considered a potential star due to his versatile skill set and size.
The 27-year-old ended up being drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in 2015. Although he hasn’t completely lived up to expectations during his time in the league, he has had some really solid seasons and made the All-Star Game in the 2017-18 campaign.
Wherever Wembanyama lands, he’s going to get tons of attention next season. Time will tell if he can handle the hype and establish himself as the future superstar that many expect him to be.