The 2022-23 NBA season has not even started and there has already been a wide discussion about tanking. The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has already urged teams not to tank this upcoming season. The race for the number one pick may be craziest we have seen yet.
The Upcoming Draft Has Teams Ready to Tank
The NBA G-League Ignite played two games recently versus the French League’s Metropolitans 92. Metropolitans 92 has a player named Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama is a 2023 NBA draft prospect that is impressing NBA scouts. Wembanyama averaged 36.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks in those two games.
He is viewed by some as the best NBA draft prospect ever, even as being a better prospect than Lebron James. The 18-year-old from France is well over seven feet tall (rumored to be around 7-foot 3-inches tall), with a non-confirmed wingspan of over eight feet. Wembanyama is not the typical center in the NBA. His three point shooting is at and NBA level already and he has the skillset of a modern big man as well. He can protect the rim, rebound, and run the floor exceptionally well for his age.
His game virtually has no weaknesses. The only concern at the moment is that he is very thin, weighing around 220 pounds. Most NBA players do come into the league with thinner frames. Although, players add weight as they develop so this is only a minor concern for Wembanyama.
How Will Tanking Be a Problem This Year?
NBA teams have had Wembanyama on their radar already. Teams such as the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs traded their stars in the offseason to prepare for the upcoming draft to rebuild. Because of the benefits of getting the number one pick in the draft, more teams will try to get it. Star players on bad teams may sit out games even when healthy towards the end of the season so they can lose more games. The Oklahoma City Thunder have been doing this for years to get a higher pick. Losing is not good for a team’s revenue, but, with Wembanyama as the grand prize, expect more teams to implement the same “strategy” this season.
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