The interest in Victor Wembanyama is on an all-time high. That is after he put on a show in Tuesday night’s game between his Metropolitans 92  team and the G League Ignite Squad, which also had another high-profile 2023 NBA Draft prospect in Scoot Henderson. Wembanyama shined in that game, albeit in a loss, as he scored 37 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, including seven triples on 11 tries, with four rebounds and five blocks. He showed everyone why he is the complete package and why there is no bigger prospect than him since LeBron James 20 years ago.

Most of all, he showed all NBA executives who saw him play why tanking is a tempting option in the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season despite the kind of nightmare they will be subjecting themselves to under that plan. Wembanyama is the best reason any team can give to their fans why they have to trust the process. We have heard this before, but teams don’t have to tank the way the Philadelphia 76ers did under Sam Hinkie. They only need the coming season to look absolutely horrid for a bigger shot at landing Wembanyama and then they can start regaining their pride by actually trying to win games. We don’t know yet who will land Victor Wembanyama in 2023, but just like you, we have a pretty good idea of which teams will be the leading candidates to win the Wembanyama Sweepstakes next year. Here are three  of them.

3. Houston Rockets

Houston has a roster teeming with young studs like Jabari Smith Jr, Kevin Porter, Alperen Sengun, and of course, Jalen Green. But they are at least a couple of years and a few major pieces away from becoming a true championship contender. After a 20-win season, the Rockets are not expected to get much better. They will likely miss the playoffs by a mile. But from the 2023 NBA Draft perspective, that is a good thing because Victor Wembanyama is going to be worth it.

There is no hiding the observable truth that the Rockets are in a rebuilding phase. Without a superstar on the team, the Rockets don’t have a big ego to satisfy by adding immediately impactful players to boost their chances to win a bunch of games in the 2022-23 NBA season. As it is, the Rockets’ roster is built to get shelled in the Western Conference in the coming season, and they will just have to withstand that and pray that the lottery balls will fall in their favor. Houston wants to be the problem in the future and it will once the Rockets land Wembanyama.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Because the Los Angeles Clippers are not going to be part of the tank parade in 2022-23 NBA season with both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard healthy, there’s no way that the Thunder will be swapping their first-round pick to the first-rounder of the Clippers in 2023 — unless the basketball gods play a ridiculous trick to let the Thunder finish with a better record in the coming season than Los Angeles. With that out of the way, the Thunder should be in play for Victor Wembanyama.

Sure they already have two towers in Chet Holmgren and Aleksej Pokusevski, but Holmgren’s first season in the NBA is already over before it could even begin, while the jury is still out on Pokusevski, whose future in Oklahoma City is largely dependent on whether the Thunder would pick their option on him in 2023. The Thunder are brimming with promising talents, but it is still not their time. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander under the Thunder’s control for years to come, Oklahoma City doesn’t have to worry about him leaving the team soon in free agency, so the prospect of another season of conscience-less tanking for Wembanyama is very real.

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1. San Antonio Spurs

Who doesn’t want to see Gregg Popovich get his hands on a generational talent like Victor Wembanyama? Unless you are rooting for teams not named the Spurs who are also about to tank for Wembanyama, you should at least appreciate the idea of Popovich regaining his winning formula in the NBA that starts with landing the top pick overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. That is very much likely going to be Wembanyama regardless of how good Scoot Henderson played against him in Sin City.

Between today and the day of next year’s draft, it would take something figuratively bigger than the frame of Wembanyama for the French NBA prospect to get upstaged by another prospect in the majority of mock drafts out there. Trading away guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in the offseason was all the Spurs needed to do to send the strong message across that they are going after Victor Wembanyama.