To say that Victor Wembanyama made waves in NBA circles after his mind-blowing 37-point explosion against Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite on Tuesday night would be a complete understatement. As a matter of fact, the way the projected first overall pick took the United States by storm is now expected to have a major impact on the upcoming NBA season.
According to NBA gurus Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Wembanyama’s coming out party is expected to have a potentially landscape-shifting impact on the 2022-23 campaign. As one anonymous general manager put it, the race for the 7-foot-2 big man could be unprecedented in nature:
“Victor distorts basketball reality,” one GM told ESPN on Wednesday. “The tank/trade market will really shift after that showing. It feels like last night will start a race to the bottom like we’ve never seen.”
In his report, Woj also revealed that league offices have already been buzzing after Wembanyama’s stunning outburst on Tuesday night:
Multiple top basketball executives told ESPN of conversations on Wednesday with their own ownership groups that expressed a better understanding of the transformational value of drafting Wembanyama — and the steps, some painful, it would take to give their teams the best odds at drafting him.
Simply put, multiple teams will now be more than willing to tank this season with the hopes of getting a better shot a winning the draft lottery next summer. Moreover, Woj states that it’s not only going to be the bottom teams who will be affected by all this. Wembanyama could also impact the trade market this season as well:
There won’t only be a race to the bottom, but an opportunity for playoff and championship contenders to have more impactful players available to acquire in deals. Executives believe that could include more players available far sooner than the February trade deadline.
All this after one nationally-televised game? Yes. That’s how much potential Victor Wembanyama currently holds.