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Victor Wembanyama ranks high in Bill Simmons’ latest trade value column

The rookie’s recent play has earned him high praise from the podfather himself. 

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

On the latest episode of the Bill Simmons podcast, the host unveiled his most recent trade value column, dedicating an extensive 77-minute discussion to elucidate his rankings. Victor Wembanyama secured the fourth position, trailing behind the formidable trio of Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Luka Doncic.

Debating whether the rookie deserves to outshine these established greats is a challenging task, but the conversation persists. Despite his youth and the current makeup of his supporting cast, Wembanyama is showcasing a level of performance seldom witnessed before. The rookie is averaging an impressive 20.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game. Simmons underscored the remarkable strides he has made in the last month and proposed that the Spurs should consider bolstering their roster to complement the young talent.

While Wembanyama is merely 20 years old, Simmons contends that he is too exceptional to squander time on a gradual team-building process. The host floated the idea of a potential trade for Trae Young, the point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, suggesting that the Spurs might benefit from adding more pieces to support both Young and Wembanyama. With this year’s draft class lacking top-heavy talent, the notion of leveraging their pick along with other assets to construct a formidable lineup around Young and Wembanyama holds a tantalizing allure.

It’s crucial to note that this is purely speculative, but as the trade deadline rapidly approaches, exploring possibilities to optimize the team around Wembanyama seems prudent. Simmons concluded his analysis of the Frenchman by asserting that the rookie is unlikely to be ranked fourth or lower on future lists. Speculating on the future, Simmons even entertained the possibility of Wembanyama claiming the top spot on the list by this time next year—an outcome that would not be surprising given the rookie’s stellar performance and potential.

In the latest episode of the Locked on Spurs podcast, Dr. Ryan McCorkle provides valuable insights into the reasons behind Wemby’s minute restriction. The information shared is quite enlightening and definitely worth a listen.

Wemby is set to face tough competition in the NBA Skill Challenge, featuring two other first-overall picks, Anthony Edwards and Paolo Bancherlo. This event promises to be nothing short of exciting!

During Thursday’s shoot-around at Hebrew Academy HS in Miami Beach, the Spurs provided a unique opportunity for the varsity team to observe Wembanyama up close. Coach Popovic allowed them to witness his skills firsthand and even interact with the rookie after practice. A cool gesture from the Spurs organization.