Unless you’ve been hibernating under a rock in the back of a cave for the past few months, you’re likely aware of the name Victor Wembanyama and the hype around him entering the NBA. Even those who aren’t necessarily “fans” have heard the name, especially after his Britney Spears encounter earlier this month. The expectations being heaped upon this young man are lofty and continue to pile up. Heading into his rookie campaign, Wemby has the sixth-best odds to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
That’s right, Wembanyama has a very good chance of winning DPOY, according to BetOnline.ag. The over/under for blocks per game is 2.5; 8.5 for rebounds; and 17.5 for ppg. Averaging close to three or more blocks per game would put the 19-year-old on track to finish pretty high in the voting for DPOY and potentially take home Rookie of the Year honors if he can also eclipse the other two.
Should Wemby somehow climb up the ranks and win out over some of the NBA’s top defenders, he’d be the first rookie to win the award. So, history certainly is not on his side, even though oddsmakers feel he’s got a better shot than most. His 7-foot-4-inch frame, agility, and overall athleticism place him so high on the list coming into the league. He posted eight blocks and 20 rebounds in two summer league games. Sure, it’s only summer league, and most of those guys won’t even be on an NBA roster come October, but it’s still impressive.
We have only a small NBA sample size for now, and the rest is all hype and projections. The first step for any rookie is landing on the right team with the proper system/coaching staff to utilize the player properly. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will put Wembanyama in the best positions to succeed in the NBA. Talent will only take you so far on the pro level. A player’s work ethic and willingness to listen and learn to play a more prominent role once you’re hooping with the big boys.
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