What’s next for Victor Wembanyama now that his French pro career is over

new balance


The NBA Draft is one week away and the assumed No. 1 pick, Victor Wembanyama, just completed his final game in France. His team, Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92, was swept by Monaco 3-0 in the LNB Pro A Finals. In his final outing, Wembanyama scored 22 points and added seven rebounds and four blocks in the 92-85 loss.

Throughout his French season, Wembanyama led all players in points (21.6), rebounds (10.4) and blocks (3.1) per game and was named the league MVP, becoming the youngest players to earn the top honor in league history.

Wembanyama played in all 34 regular season games for the Metropolitans 92, including an All-Star Game in December and 10 playoff games in May and June. He has also played in every FIBA World Cup qualifying game for the French national team and averaged 19 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in only 25 minutes.

With Monaco sweeping the finals (winning their first Pro A title in franchise history), Wembanyama and his family have a few days to rest and prepare for the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in New York next Thursday. It is unclear if Wembanyama will show up at the beginning of the week like every other draft prospect for NBA media and promotional obligations, but he will be the man of the hour Thursday evening as he waits for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to call his name with the first pick in the draft.

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Next stop, San Antonio.

Will Victor Wembanyama play in Summer League?

Some believe the Spurs will shut down Wembanyama for Summer League and let him rest all of July before he heads to Indonesia in late August to represent France in the FIBA World Cup, a 17-day tournament between 32 other teams around the world.

The World Cup will be a glimpse as to what’s to come in the 2024 Paris Olympics with 7-foot-4 Wembanyama and 7-1 Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves sharing the frontcourt for the French national team.

The Spurs will play three games in the Sacramento Summer League on July 3 and 5, with their first game against the Charlotte Hornets, who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft.

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Then, all teams will head to Las Vegas, the same city Wembanyama put the entire basketball world on notice in a pair of games against projected top-three pick Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite last October. After he dominated in both games and sealed himself as the No. 1 pick, many thought then that he would shut it down and take the following months to prepare for the 2023 NBA Draft and avoid potential injury.

Victor Wembanyama celebrates after his team won a French league game in January. The next stop for Wembanyama is the 2023 NBA Draft next Thursday. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Victor Wembanyama celebrates after his team won a French league game in January. The next stop for Wembanyama is the 2023 NBA Draft next Thursday. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

“I can’t accept just to quit like that,” Wembanyama said in October after a practice in Las Vegas. “I understand why people would say that, but it’s not me. I wouldn’t have joined the team if I wasn’t going to play and go to the end.”

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This shows the competitive spirit of Wembanyama and the dedication to his team. The same discussions of will he or won’t he play this summer are very similar; he did just as he said and played the entire season, which could have extended to Tuesday if the LNB Finals went the distance.

The NBA is different and it might not be his decision. Last year, No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero played in two Las Vegas Summer League games for the Orlando Magic before shutting it down, and No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren played four games for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

No fan expects to see much of the top draft prospects, but if Wembanyama is healthy and if the Spurs let him, it should surprise no one if he decides to play one or two games. That’s just the type of player Wembanyama is and he’s always looking to compete.

The French phenom is coming to the NBA and if it’s up to him, it’s likely we’ll see him on the court wearing a Spurs jersey soon.

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