Perhaps the only NBA award that is no longer up for debate at this juncture late in the season is that of the Rookie of the Year, which is overwhelmingly likely to be won by San Antonio Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama, selected by the franchise with the number one overall pick this past June. Wembanyama has already struck fear into the hearts of opposing teams on a nightly basis, using his insane wingspan, shooting touch, and athleticism to wreak havoc on both ends of the floor for a Spurs team that ranks near the bottom of the standings but has been nothing if not entertaining so far this year.

The question of just how great Wembanyama already is one year into his career is certainly one to be had, and recently, former Spurs forward Rudy Gay stopped by FanDuel TV's Run It Back podcast and dropped a bold take when assessing where “Wemby” ranks among his NBA counterparts at this early point.

“I would definitely put him (as one of the) top 30 players in the league,” said Gay, per Run It Back on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

Rudy Gay of course spent several seasons as a member of the Spurs under Gregg Popovich from 2017-2021, embarking on multiple playoff runs with the franchise during that span.

How great can Wemby be?

The answer to that question probably has no limit. Victor Wembanyama is already more than capable of looking like the best player on the court on any given night, even during games when he lines up against some of the league's premier talent, having already outplayed several star caliber players head to head on multiple occasions so far this season.

A freak of nature in a league full of freaks of nature, Wembanyama has also generated a fringe late-season Defensive Player of the Year campaign for himself due to his prominence on that end, although that award is likely to go to Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert, who has been the anchor of the best defense in the NBA by a country mile this season.

Still, there is something to be said about Wembanyama's superhuman ability to block shots, defend smaller players on the perimeter, and wall off the paint on that end of the floor, especially considering that the Spurs don't have a whole lot of defensive talent outside of him.

Of course, then there is also the offensive side of the ball, where Wembanyama has already shown immense growth so far in his rookie season, growing comfortable dealing with and passing out of double teams to find the open man, as well as using his size to get to the rim and take the easiest shots possible when playing against smaller defenders (which virtually everyone who guards him is).

The Spurs may not have won a whole lot of games this year, but they accomplished their true goal for this season which was to get Wembanyama acclimated to the NBA level and established as the team's building block going forward.