The Victor Wembanyama raffle has a winner. They are the San Antonio Spurs.
The NBA draft lottery was Tuesday night in Chicago and 14 teams were hoping the ping-pong balls would bounce their way, giving them the No. 1 pick this year and the chance to draft Wembanyama.
The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Spurs had the best chance of winning the lottery and getting the No. 1 pick: 14%, or a 7-1 odds. But the Spurs got the win, and now Wembanyama’s career will begin under legendary coach Gregg Popovich, the NBA’s all-time wins leader.
Here’s a glimpse of what all the fuss is about:
WHO IS VICTOR WEMBANYAMA?
He is one of the most talked about players in the world right now, for good and obvious reasons. He is a 7-foot-3, 19-year-old phenom who is wrapping up his third professional season in France and about to start his NBA career. LeBron James calls Wembanyama “an alien,” and he means it with the utmost respect. Wembanyama has the height of a center, the shooting touch of a forward and the passing ability of a point guard. The wingspan of him is almost 8 feet and he can almost grab the edge (10 feet in the air) without even jumping.
WHAT BACKGROUND OF WEMBANYAMA?
His parents are tall and very athletic. His father, Felix Wembanyama, is about 6-foot-5 and was a high jumper. His mother, Elodie de Fautereau; He is approximately 6-foot-3 and was a noted basketball player. They have tried to keep life very normal for a son who is already world famous. And Wembanyama has tried to be a normal boy; he likes video games, art, reading and soccer.
WHAT HAPPENED ON TUESDAY?
The lottery winner has a chance to make the number 1 pick in next month’s draft. So while Wembanyama isn’t officially a member of the Spurs yet, it’s a foregone conclusion that barring some kind of awesome trade, he will be drafted by San Antonio in June and could be with his new club for summer league games in early of July.
HOW WILL HE FIT IN THE NBA?
There’s a learning curve for everyone, even early draft picks. And it’s a rite of passage for all rookies, especially the highly touted ones, to be challenged by established NBA players; some of them are taller, but many are stronger and more experienced. He’s going to have some tough times, for sure. But it will make any team better, maybe much better, right away.
WHERE HAVE YOU PLAYED?
He turned full-time professional in the 2020-21 season with French club Nanterre. He has been in three teams in his three seasons in the French league, his year with Nanterre followed by a season with powerhouse club ASVEL, owned by Spurs great Tony Parker, and this season with Boulogne-Levallois. His current team wrapped up its regular season on Tuesday (which is why he wasn’t in the draft lottery) and is poised to open the playoffs.