The ascension of Victor Wembanyama

The rookie’s recent play could offer a glimpse into his future potential.

Philadelphia 76ers v San Antonio SpursPhoto by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Victor Wembanyama has been showcasing some of his best basketball over recent weeks. It seems that on any given night, the rookie is either setting an NBA record or coming remarkably close to it. His performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night only solidified this notion.

In that game, Wembanyama logged a season-high in minutes and posted some truly staggering numbers. It was a tantalizing glimpse into what we can anticipate in the near future. From the outset, it was clear that this season would be experimental for both the front office, the coaching staff, and Wembanyama himself. The rookie was carefully monitored, with a minute restriction for a significant portion of the season. However, as April rolls around and the season draws to a close, Victor’s physical condition has proven remarkably resilient.

The rookie himself is pleased with how his body has endured the rigors of the lengthy NBA season. Over the last five games, his minutes have increased to an average of 36.1 per game, suggesting a promising trajectory for the seasons to come.

While projecting a second-year player to achieve stats like over 29 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 4.6 blocks, and 1.6 steals may seem overly ambitious, considering Victor’s rapid growth this year, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to put up some remarkable numbers.

Perhaps aiming for figures closer to 25 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks, and 1.5 steals would be more realistic based on his recent performance averages. Nevertheless, with an increase in playing time to the mid-30s, there’s every reason to believe that Wembanyama will continue to deliver impressive stats next season.

This is a fascinating clip highlighting a story involving 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey. Over two years ago, he worked out with Wembanyama and played one-on-one against the Frenchman. What stands out about this anecdote is the fact that Vic solely focused on playing defense against Maxey. It’s very rare for a player to possess such determination, but it underscores his work ethic, which is now yielding rewards.

Let me be clear, Victor will not make an All-NBA team this season. Players on losing teams typically aren’t included. Nevertheless, it’s noteworthy that his production has propelled other players to All-NBA spots in the past.

I had several expectations from the rookie heading into this season, but this exceeded them. I didn’t anticipate his ball-handling and shooting abilities to be this polished so early in his journey, allowing him to execute such incredible shots.

Let’s not overlook his high level of confidence either, leading to shots like these.

The league capitalized on Monday’s solar eclipse, with Wembanyama being the focal point of this post.

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