For the first time since 2021, the Spurs are entering the new season with a player ranked in ESPN’s Top 100 Players list, with Victor Wembanyama coming in at #47. That may or may not seem a little high for a player who has yet to record a minute in an NBA regular season, but here is what they had to say (courtesy of Andrew Lopez):
2022 NBA rank: NR
Why he debuts at No. 47: Wembanyama is unlike any prospect we’ve seen enter the NBA. Wembanyama averaged 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game in the French Pro A League last season on his way to winning MVP honors. Still, how much of that translates to the NBA right away remains to be seen.
One huge question for the season: How exactly will the Spurs use Wembanyama? Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said one of the cool questions to be answered in training camp is figuring out if Wembanyama is a power forward, center or even a small forward. Wembanyama said there are no limitations on his role. What’s clear is that San Antonio will use the rookie in different ways.
Even if there are those who believe top 50 is high for any rookie regardless of how talented, it’s no surprise that Wemby at least made top 100. (For reference, his two presumed challengers for ROY, Scoot Henderson and Chet Holmgren, came in at 78th and 73rd, respectively.)
What is maybe a little surprising is that no other Spurs made the top 100, namely Keldon Johnson and/or Devin Vassell. While it would be odd to have three top 100 players on a team still predicted to be a bottom five-ish team next season, it does feel like those two are being a bit overlooked, especially Vassell (although there is the valid excuse that he only played 38 games last season, so voters need to see more).
What do you think, Pounders? Is Wemby placed right? Is anyone else missing from the list (the top 10 has yet to come out, but it’s safe to assume no Spurs will be there), and do you think any new Spurs will enter the rankings by this time next year? Feel free to discuss in the comments below!