Jonathan GiffoniESPN4 minutes to read
1 draft pick Victor Wimpanyama officially declared the 2023 NBA draft on Friday and submitted the paperwork to the league office, he said on ESPN’s “NBA Today.”
“Announcing the draft…it’s such a crazy thing that I haven’t realized yet,” Wimpanyama told ESPN. “I knew I was so young that I wanted to play in the NBA, but it’s becoming a reality every day. I’m so lucky to have that dream within my reach.”
Wembanyama is the most anticipated prospect since LeBron James, who ran the NBA lottery on May 15 and revealed which team would take first place, picked one of the biggest nights in years for non-NBA teams and the league as a whole.
Wimbanyama told ESPN in January that there is “no wrong team” when discussing which teams have high odds of winning the lottery and should be picked first.
“I’m not worried, there is no bad organisation. I never tell myself I don’t like going there. Every organization is so careful about their players that there is no wrong destination.”
At 7-foot-5, with an 8-foot wingspan, Wimpanyama would instantly be the tallest and tallest player in the NBA, but he also brings the skill set of a guard, as he is regularly tasked with bringing the ball to the court for offense starts and hitting three pointers from all over the floor. The timing, instincts and anticipation he displays defensively combined with his ability to cover the ground seamlessly and change the geometry of the game with his dimensions give him game-changing potential on that end of the floor as well.
Wimpanyama is in the midst of a historic season in France, averaging 21.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 2.3 assists per game and leading the Ligue 1 in almost every statistical category despite being only 19 years old, making him an MVP candidate. . Honours. He surprised many by leading one of the league’s smallest teams to a 19-10 record that currently puts them in second place, potentially creating a deep playoff run that could extend beyond the June 22nd NBA draft date.
His team’s decision to send home starting point guard and second scorer Tremont Waters in the midst of a locker room tussle added to the amount of offensive responsibility Wimpanyama has had to shoulder over the past few games.
Although scouts point to his gigantic frame and poor historical record of players of similar build in keeping healthy as their biggest concerns for him to reach his full potential, Wimpanyama has not missed a match this season, going on a 47-game winning streak in all competitions. Competitions since September, evidence of the great amount of work he does every day resting, recovering, activating and preventing injuries.
“I’ve been working on my body more than ever with my personal trainer, Guillaume [Alquier]“I’m ready to overcome all kinds of hurdles,” said Wimpanyama. “So far I’ve worked well. I haven’t missed a match yet. I’ve been there for my mates in every game.
“There are a lot of games in the NBA season. It’s hard to play all 82 games, some players are built a certain way. Others have to rest. My goal is to play as many games as possible, and help my team as much as it can.”
Wimpanyama’s performances this season—especially in two flashy exhibition games his team played in Las Vegas in October against Scott Henderson and J. League Ignite, scoring 73 points in 70 minutes—came him to number one in the draft. French player. His team has five games left in the regular season before proceeding to the playoffs, which will determine how quickly he can make it to the United States
Wimpanyama’s announcement that he is officially entering the NBA draft should come as a surprise to anyone who considers his status as the #1 pick, but it marks another milestone in bringing him closer to his stated lifelong dream of playing in the NBA.
The early entry deadline for the NBA Draft (Sunday at 11:59 PM ET) falls exactly 60 days before the actual draft on June 22. Wembanyama’s announcement comes 24 days from the time the world finds out which team will be awarded the rights. 1 pick in the draft.
Jonathan Giffoni is an NBA draft expert and founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a proprietary scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.
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