The Victor Wembanyama era is officially underway for the San Antonio Spurs.
The 7’3 Frenchman made his debut for the Spurs against the Charlotte Hornets at the NBA Summer League where he helped them take a 76-68 win at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Wembanyama struggled with his shot throughout the contest though, missing his first three attempts before finally converting a short jumper almost three minutes into the game. He wound up making only one more field goal for the rest of the night–a three-pointer that led to a four-point play with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Despite shooting a measly two-of-13 from the field, the 19-year-old phenom still managed to leave his mark on the game. Wembanyama hit all four of his free throw attempts which helped bumped up his point total to nine. His all-around skillset was also on full display as he had eight rebounds, three assists, and five blocks in 27 minutes of action.
The most stirring sequence of Wembanyama’s evening came approximately half a minute prior to his first basket. It all began when he blocked Charlotte’s Kai Jones at the rim and collected the rebound. He proceeded to bring up the ball in as smooth a manner as most point guards do then recognized an opening and attacked the rim.
However, Wembanyama’s path was cut off by Brandon Miller, the second pick in this year’s NBA Draft, who acknowledged the threat that San Antonio’s star posed as he went downhill. Wembanyama was unfazed and instead adjusted with a lefty dribble that helped him create some space. He then, in one motion, shoveled a one-handed pass to his cutting teammate Dominick Barlow for an easy basket.
It was these types of plays that proved that Wembanyama is worth all of the hype that he received in the build-up to the NBA Draft. His ability to move like a guard at his height will make him a match-up nightmare for many years to come. The defensive instincts that he showed were quite impressive too as he complemented his quick leaping ability and eight-foot wingspan with excellent timing.
What is scary is that Wembanyama should only get better with time. Many of his missed shots and mistakes on the court were attributable to his lithe frame which should fill up as the years go by. If he can undergo a transformation similar to that of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, then the sky will truly be the limit for the Spurs’ new franchise cornerstone.
The best is yet to come for Wembanyama and the challenges that he faced in his first outing should not be overanalyzed. San Antonio is all set for the future with the towering Wembanyama carrying their flag forward for at least the next decade.