A 16-year-old from France is already garnering a reputations as a “unicorn,” and he could be the next big thing in the NBA in a few years.
Victor Wembanyama is a 7-foot-3 stretch big who has drawn comparisons to Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Rudy Gobert. Wembanyama has built his own hype machine since playing for FC Barcelona at the U14 Spanish Minicup, and ESPN draft expert Mike Schmitz has called Wembanyama one of the best prospects on the planet.
Indeed, international scout Jason Filippi added the kid has serious potential to be the next big thing in basketball.
Via Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype:
“It is fair to say that he is the next big thing in Europe.” said Filippi. “The kid is only 16. He cannot put his name in the NBA draft until 2022 or 2023. He is a potential generational talent like Luka Doncic. I’m not saying he is going to be good at Doncic. But he is definitely the best player in his age group and I think that if he were eligible for next year’s draft, he’d be a lottery pick and the top European prospect.”
Taylor Smith, who played with Wembanyama in Paris, gave his scouting report:
“He works hard, his potential is through the roof,” continued Smith. “He can shoot, dribble, handle. You know, he’s like Porzingis. But Porzingis didn’t have the handle like him. He has the handles. And he plays defense like Rudy Gobert.”
Filippi’s description of Wembanyama almost sounds a bit like Denver Nuggets rookie Bol Bol, who showed out for Denver in the team’s exhibitions at the NBA bubble in Orlando.
The youngster played for France at the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship, averaging 9.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and a whopping 5.3 blocks in seven games, per the FIBA website.
Like Doncic, the next step for Wembanyama might be Euroleague exposure. For now, he is one to keep tabs on in the coming years.