It’s been a long time since there has been this much buzz about an incoming rookie, but the basketball world is waiting with bated breath for Victor Wembanyama to make his NBA debut. While he shouldn’t be expected to immediately turn the franchise around in one day like David Robinson and Tim Duncan did (who, relatively speaking, were full grown men when they entered the league at 24 and 21, respectively), there are still plenty more intriguing reasons to watch him than just win total.
Ben Taylor of NBA.com‘s “Think Basketball” series recently did an edition on Wemby’s unique skill set, and while he has a lot of skills, he has one asset that can’t be taught, and that’s his mere presence on the court and the range in which he can create an impact in short order thanks to his long frame and relative agility for a 7’3.5” player.
On defense, his presence alone deters shots all over the court, and his long strides means he’s always just two steps away. He has insane block range, and his length allows him to recover from jump fakes better than most players. The same can be said on offense, where can pick up his dribble at the three-point line and still make it to rim with ease and without traveling. Another thing that can’t be taught is basketball IQ, and he has it in abundance. He’s a creative passer and sees the opportunities coming, he just needs to work on delivering them quicker.
Of course, there are more areas he can improve. He’s still learning how to use his length in some aspects (he can still look a little unsteady and indecisive at times), although the third step allowed in NBA and larger court should give him more room to operate. There’s also the questions about his frame, and while he doesn’t necessarily need to bulk up, he does need to find a way to hold his ground better. Finally, he needs to avoid being too dependent on long shots until his numbers improve, but the good news is the form is already there.
It’s a great breakdown, so be sure to check it out. We’re getting closer and closer to the big day, with training camp 11 days away!