NBA Draft: Hypothetical trades for future first pick Victor Wembanyama

NBA InsidersMay 27, 2023, 7:00 AM ETReading: 8 min.

Spurs fans erupt in celebration after getting first pick

A group of Spurs fans celebrate in a big way after the team won the first pick and the chance to draft Victor Wembanyama.

We know the San Antonio Spurs aren’t actually going to trade the 2023 first overall pick.

But what if a trade offer landed on Spurs GM Brian Wright’s desk that at least forced the organization to briefly consider it … before saying no?

Projected to be the first player off the board in Jonathan Givony’s latest NBA mock draft, Victor Wembanyama was absent from last week’s combined draft as he is wrapping up his season with Metropolitans 92 in France. But NBA teams have seen enough of the 19-year-old French great before the draft that NBA commissioner Adam Silver could announce the selection immediately after declaring the Spurs are on the clock.

That was the task of our NBA experts, as they were asked to play the role of general manager and propose hypothetical trades for San Antonio’s No. 1 pick, and the right to draft Wembanyama on June 22, that wouldn’t do. for Wright to get off the phone immediately (which he probably would anyway).


“Process 2.0” in Philadelphia

San Antonio Spurs gets: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers get: 1 overall pick of 2023, 2024 first-round pick of Toronto, Doug McDermott and Devonte ‘Graham

Let’s say the reigning NBA MVP decides to send the next wave of shock to the entire league by requesting a trade from Philadelphia this summer. The 76ers were unable to close out a 3-2 lead against the Boston Celtics and failed to make it past the second round for the sixth straight season. They’re looking for a coach once again, James Harden is a free agent, and maybe Embiid will decide he’s hit the ceiling in Philly and the Sixers will start getting calls about his availability. What about the league MVP for the first pick? A big for a big? Embiid for Wembanyama?

Both teams would be going through some pretty drastic changes in this scenario. For Philadelphia, this would mark the official end of the “process era,” but instead of a complete rebuild, this “Process 2.0” kicks off with another blow to a generational talent at the top of the draft. And San Antonio passes up the opportunity of a potential great player for a proven dominant center.

It would instantly shift the Spurs into a competitive mindset with Embiid in his prime, salary cap space and a draft pick from last summer’s Dejounte Murray trade that they could use to build a team around Embiid to compete in the West. In the trade scenario above, San Antonio can take a few more contracts off its books and keep all of its financial flexibility, but there is a version of this deal that could trade centers outright, with perhaps an additional pick for Philadelphia. A move like this would be antithetical to how the Spurs have historically operated. With no other star ready on the roster, making a move to acquire Embiid, who turns 30 next season and has a long history of injuries, actually makes San Antonio the team most likely to turn down this deal. But in a world where Embiid is available, the possibility of Wembanyama is enough of an advantage to make negotiations intriguing.

–Jamal Collier


The Thunder make use of their draft picks

The San Antonio Spurs get: Chet Holmgren, 2023 No. 12 pick, 2024 Rockets first round pick (first four protégés), 2025 76ers first round pick (first six protégés) and 2026 Clippers first round pick

Oklahoma City Thunder gets: General selection number 1 of 2023

Surely if the Thunder were to call about the trade for the No. first round pick Oklahoma City has in the next four years. More realistically, building a trade offer around last year’s No. 2 pick would give San Antonio a blue-chip prospect along with additional picks in each of the next four years, one of them already in the lottery and one of them already in the lottery. the other three with a sizable lead — while allowing the Thunder to hit Wembanyama along with the perimeter heavy core that reached the play-in tournament as the second-youngest team in the NBA this season.

Holmgren and Wembanyama have been tied at least since they met in the FIBA ​​U19 World Cup 2021 Final. Wembanyama had 22 points, 8 rebounds and a mind-boggling 8 blocks in his debut party at age 17, while Holmgren had 10 points and five assists as the United States edged out France in a thrilling 83-81 victory. Both young big men are noted for their ability to create dribble shots for their size, but Wembanyama’s superior size (he stands at 7-foot-5 in shoes compared to Holmgren’s 7-foot and has an 8-foot wingspan compared to Holmgren’s 7-6) and a more widely used offensive role herald a greater advantage in the NBA. Add in the fact that Holmgren is one year closer to restricted free agency after missing his first NBA season due to an injury to Lisfranc, and the Spurs would almost certainly turn down this offer, even if the Thunder were to throw up more draft picks from your reservation. That’s a testament to how special Wembanyama is as a prospect.

–Kevin Pelton

When Mbappé met Wembanyama

The meeting between both figures was in a match in Paris.

2022 Rookie of the Year on the move

San Antonio Spurs get: Paolo Banchero, Jalen Suggs and two first-round picks (2023 No. 6 and No. 11)

Orlando Magic gets: General selection number 1 of 2023

This at least gets San Antonio to answer the phone, right? Good? Look, we all know how difficult it would be to get the Spurs to trade this pick. If you have to, you have to swing for the fences. In exchange for Wembenyama, the Magic would send the 2023 Rookie of the Year and the 2022 No. 1 pick (Banchero), as well as one of the lottery picks from the 2021 draft team (Suggs). Add in this year’s two first-round picks and that’s four top-11 picks in a three-year span for the French phenom. Banchero averaged 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his rookie season. San Antonio also gets Suggs, the No. 5 pick in 2021, who has struggled shooting the ball but had 36% depth after the All-Star break this season.

The 20-year-old Banchero showed the ability to take charge of games at a young age last season. He would immediately form one of the best young duos in the league along with 23-year-old Keldon Johnson, who averaged 22 points a season ago. Banchero could give San Antonio unique chances with bigger lineups in Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Devin Vassell. Throw in Tre Jones, Zach Collins, Malaki Branham and whoever the Spurs pick with the other two lottery picks, and the bones of a nice, young team early on begin to take shape. Maybe not the shape of a French 7-5 player with an 8-foot wingspan, but a shape nonetheless.

— Andrew Lopez

2023-05-27 11:00:00
#NBA #Draft #Hypothetical #trades #future #pick #Victor #Wembanyama

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